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The impact of spycraft on how we secure our data – ComputerWeekly.com

§ June 2nd, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on The impact of spycraft on how we secure our data – ComputerWeekly.com

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Published: 01 Jun 2020

The cyber security industry has come a long way since its inception. The ancestors of cyber were the men and women working at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, long before the introduction of what we would consider modern cyber security practices but even before then, humans used codes and ciphers to keep information safe for millennia. Even Julius Caesar popularised a cipher which was named after him.

More recently, developments have been driven by the intelligence and defence sectors, which have a real need to uncover as well as keep sensitive intelligence safe. Some of these innovations were showcased recently at the Science Museums Top Secret exhibition, which ran from July 2019 to February 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of GCHQ, the UKs intelligence, security and cyber agency.

It also gives us the context as to where developments have originated, and the ways in which they will subsequently impact how businesses keep their data safe from cyber criminals in the future.

The threats organisations face today are varied from organised crime groups to nation-state hackers, as well as individual hackers. One of the ways organisations try to defend themselves is through encryption.

Ciphers have been around for centuries in one form or another from non-standard hieroglyphs in the walls of tombs built in ancient Egypt almost 4,000 years ago, to substitution ciphers developed 1,200 years ago by Arab mathematician Al-Kindi. The rise of electronic communications during the Cold War led to monumental developments in ciphers and encryption technology, which were used to keep phone conversations secure.

Today, the focus for many organisations and businesses is the use of encryption on mobile devices, enterprise networks and cloud services. Given the impact of mobile devices and digital communication on how organisations conduct their business with partners and customers globally, this has been a key development ensuring conversations remain private while enabling fast and secure communication.

Today, encryption is used in all sectors for medical data in healthcare, customer information in banking, and much more. This highlights the importance of all areas of industry, outside of tech and IT, learning from the intelligence communitys experience developing advanced solutions to secure communications and data.

Many technologies initially developed by the intelligence community have become commonplace in keeping our everyday communications secure, according to Elizabeth Bruton, curator of the Science Museums Top Secret exhibition.

Randomness has always been used to disguise messages, she said. Though the technology today is radically different, the basic principles of encryption using long strings of random characters letters and numbers have changed very little over the past 100 years. The Top Secret exhibition features letter tiles used by the Government Code and Cypher School staff at Mansfield College, Oxford, during the Second World War.

GC&CS staff pulled these tiles out of a bag to create long strings of random numbers or letters, she said. They were used to make encryption keys and one-time pads to keep British wartime messages secure. Today, randomness underpins some of the encryption systems we use to keep our communications secure.

Also featured in the Top Secret exhibition is a chaotic pendulum used by the internet security company Cloudflare to help keep online messages secret. Cloudflare uses readings from devices such as this pendulum and a wall of lava lamps to make long strings of random numbers, said Bruton. These random numbers help create keys that encrypt the traffic that flows through Cloudflares network.

Although its interesting to see how todays cyber security solutions have been influenced by the past, emerging technologies can also help us gaze into the future. One of the exhibits in the Top Secret exhibition consists of parts from a quantum computer. This new computing paradigm has the potential to rewrite how we use technology.

Quantum computers could significantly weaken our cyber defences by processing information in a manner completely different to that of traditional computers. Work is already underway to develop quantum-resistant encryption that is likely to become a common business practice in the next decade.

Breakthroughs such as quantum computing are a reminder that organisations should constantly be thinking about how the threats they face evolve. After all, cyber crime is set to cost businesses over $2tn this year alone. Todays new tech could be tomorrows threat, and bad actors such as organised cybercriminals and nation-state attackers will always look to exploit the latest and greatest tech.

Cyber criminals are often quick to use new technologies. Since they dont operate in regulated industries or need to consider customers and users, they can be more efficient at harnessing these technologies for harm than organisations are at harnessing them for good.

The cyber security sector is experiencing tremendous growth, driven by our dependence on technology. Global cyber security spending is expected to reach $248bn by 2026.

As such, its prudent for all organisations to look at both the past and the future if they want to remain safe from cyber criminals and invest wisely. The crossover between what technologies the intelligence sector has developed and how these have been adopted into mainstream cyber security solutions highlights the many years of research it takes to keep data safe.

As organisations face ever more threats, they should look to learn as much as they can from every sector and be open to sharing best practices to ensure robust defences.

Subject to the anticipated reopening of the UKs museums as Covid-19 pandemic restrictions ease, the Top Secret exhibition is scheduled to open at Manchesters Science and Industry Museum in October 2020.

Mark Hughes is senior vice-president of security at DXC Technology

Let's face it, cloud security can be done very wrong. Let's learn to do it right. Regular Computer Weekly contributor Peter Ray Allison explores this issue, weighing up the questions organisations should be asking of their cloud service providers, and whose responsibility cloud security should be.

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The Largest Roadblock In Quantum Computing Has Been Passed …

§ June 1st, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on The Largest Roadblock In Quantum Computing Has Been Passed …

Quantum computers are thought to be the next big step in computing technology. They would have enough power to tackle large-scale problems including modeling viruses like COVID-19, the creation of new medicines, complex cryptography, and the development of catalysts to reduce energy consumption. Unfortunately, this technology is considered to be more than a decade from practical use. However, a major breakthrough has been made that could bring quantum computing within reach.

Dr Henry Yang and Professor Andrew Dzurak: hot qubits are a game-changer for quantum computing ... [+] development.

A group of researchers led by Professor Andrew Dzurak at UNSW Sydney has shown that a silicon-based qubit can operate at higher temperatures than normal. They used this breakthrough to design a new type of quantum chip that is much easier to work with. Their proof of concept was published recently in Nature and has most likely broken through one of the toughest roadblocks in quantum computing.

What is a Qubit?

Qubits are the fundamental units of quantum computing. Just like a regular bit in your home computer, the qubit can represent a 0 or a 1 and when working together they form a binary code that is the basis for computer processing. The qubit is more advanced because it can also manifest both the 1 and 0 states at the same time. This is known as a superposition and is the basis for quantum computing.

It may not sound like much but when millions of these qubits are working together they can tackle problems that no supercomputer on the planet can handle.

Regular Qubits vs Silicon Qubits

Currently, regular qubits have to be kept at a temperature that is just fractions of a degree over absolute zero, which is colder than deep space. In order to maintain that temperature, top of the line refrigeration technology has to be used. This costs millions of dollars and takes a large amount of space. A full-scale quantum computer using regular qubits would require an entire building just to store the cooling units.

Dr. Dzuraks team has designed a chip that uses silicon-based qubits that can operate at a temperature of about 1.5 Kelvin. Which is still really cold but would only require thousands of dollars worth of refrigeration rather than millions.

Silicon Qubits are able to operate at a temperature that is 15 times hotter than Regular Qubits. ... [+] This gives them many advantages such as a refrigeration budget of thousands of dollar rather than millions

The good news does not stop there. The silicon qubits ability to operate at higher temperatures actually helps jump a second hurdle. The use of regular computer chips next to quantum chips has always been an issue because they generate enough heat to instantly overheat regular qubits.

Unfortunately, regular computer chips are required to control the read and write operations of the quantum chips. However, we can pull enough heat away from them that they will not interfere with silicon qubits. This small difference makes the construction of a quantum computer possible.

These breakthroughs are ahead of their time and have brought quantum computing technology much closer. There are still more than a few challenges to be met but there is no reason to think the technology is still a decade away.

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NASA Supercomputer Used to Fight COVID-19 – Voice of America

§ June 1st, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on NASA Supercomputer Used to Fight COVID-19 – Voice of America

A consortium of U.S. government agencies and private industry is using the U.S. space agency NASAs supercomputer to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic, examining everythingfromhow the virus interacts with cells in the human body,to genetic risk factors,to screening for potential therapeutic drugs.

The consortiumwas organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and includes industry partners IBM, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Amazon, Microsoft and others, as well as the Department of Energys National Laboratories, the National Science Foundation, and several universities.

The consortium is a pairing up supercomputing resources with proposals for using high-end computing power for COVID-19 studies. The agencys supercomputer is housed at NASAs Ames Research Center in northern California, and, while it is usually used for Earth and space-related projects, it has time reserved for national priorities.

Supercomputers are suited for processing large amounts of data and are invaluable for NASAs usual projects, such as running simulations used to hunting for planets outside our solar system, studying the behavior of black holes, or designing aeronautic or aerospace vehicles.

Likewise, it is well-suited forrunning simulations to help researchers understand COVID-19. The computer-run simulations help researchers understand how the coronavirus reacts on the cellular and molecular level.

The NASA computer so far is being used to study geneticriskfactorsin the virus that may lead toRespiratory DistressSyndrome, (ARDS); develop 3D molecular geometry to search forpossibledrugtherapies against the virus, research the coronavirusproteinshelland how itmay besusceptible to drugs or vaccines, and toidentify COVID-19-relatedbiomarkersand how they react with the human body tocausereactions.

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The University of New Mexico Becomes IBM Q Hub’s First University Member – Quantaneo, the Quantum Computing Source

§ June 1st, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on The University of New Mexico Becomes IBM Q Hub’s First University Member – Quantaneo, the Quantum Computing Source

The NC State IBM Q Hub is a cloud-based quantum computing hub, one of six worldwide and the first in North America to be part of the global IBM Q Network. This global network links national laboratories, tech startups, Fortune 500 companies, and research universities, providing access to IBMs largest quantum computing systems.

Mainstream computer processors inside our laptops, desktops, and smartphones manipulate bits, information that can only exist as either a 1 or a 0. In other words, the computers we are used to function through programming, which dictates a series of commands with choices restricted to yes/no or if this, then that. Quantum computers, on the other hand, process quantum bits or qubits, that are not restricted to a binary choice. Quantum computers can choose if this, then that or both through complex physics concepts such as quantum entanglement. This allows quantum computers to process information more quickly, and in unique ways compared to conventional computers.

Access to systems such as IBMs newly announced 53 qubit processor (as well as several 20 qubit machines) is just one of the many benefits to UNMs participation in the IBM Q Hub when it comes to data analysis and algorithm development for quantum hardware. Quantum knowledge will only grow with time, and the IBM Q Hub will provide unique training and research opportunities for UNM faculty and student researchers for years to come.

How did this partnership come to be? Two years ago, a sort of call to arms was sent out among UNM quantum experts, saying now was the time for big ideas because federal support for quantum research was gaining traction. Devetsikiotis vision was to create a quantum ecosystem, one that could unite the foundational quantum research in physics at UNMs Center for Quantum Information and Control (CQuIC) with new quantum computing and engineering initiatives for solving big real-world mathematical problems.

At first, I thought [quantum] was something for physicists, explains Devetsikiotis. But I realized its a great opportunity for the ECE department to develop real engineering solutions to these real-world problems.

CQuIC is the foundation of UNMs long-standing involvement in quantum research, resulting in participation in the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) passed by Congress in 2018 to support multidisciplinary research and training in quantum information science. UNM has been a pioneer in quantum information science since the field emerged 25 years ago, as CQuIC Director Ivan Deutsch knows first-hand.

This is a very vibrant time in our field, moving from physics to broader activities, says Deutsch, and [Devetsikiotis] has seen this as a real growth area, connecting engineering with the existing strengths we have in the CQuIC.

With strategic support from the Office of the Vice President for Research, Devetsikiotis secured National Science Foundation funding to support a Quantum Computing & Information Science (QCIS) faculty fellow. The faculty member will join the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with the goal to unite well-established quantum research in physics with new quantum education and research initiatives in engineering. This includes membership in CQuIC and implementation of the IBM Q Hub program, as well as a partnership with Los Alamos National Lab for a Quantum Computing Summer School to develop new curricula, educational materials, and mentorship of next-generation quantum computing and information scientists.As part of the Q Hub at NC State, UNM gains access to IBMs largest quantum computing systems for commercial use cases and fundamental research. It also allows for the restructuring of existing quantum courses to be more hands-on and interdisciplinary than they have in the past, as well as the creation of new courses, a new masters degree program in QCIS, and a new university-wide Ph.D. concentration in QCIS that can be added to several departments including ECE, Computer Science, Physics and Astronomy, and Chemistry.

Theres been a lot of challenges, Devetsikiotis says, but there has also been a lot of good timing, and thankfully The University has provided support for us. UNM has solidified our seat at the quantum table and can now bring in the industrial side.

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25 technologies that have changed the world – CNET

§ June 1st, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on 25 technologies that have changed the world – CNET

Apple's Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone on Jan. 9, 2007, calling it a "revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,"

If 1995 seems a long time ago, that's because it was. The DVD player was the hot new entertainment device, mobile phones were bulky and did little besides place calls, and accessing the internet was a novel (and slow) experience confined to desktop computers. It also was the year CNET began publishing news and reviews.

Technology has changed immensely in the 25 years since then. One could argue that it's continued to improve our lives, keeping us more connected to information, entertainment and each other. You also could argue just the opposite, but either way, there are a few gadgets and technologies that have changed our lives and the world forever. Here are 25 influential advancements from the past quarter century.

Though it wasn't the first smartphone, Apple really got the ball rolling with the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Social media, messaging and the mobile internet wouldn't be nearly as powerful or universal if they hadn't been freed from the shackles of the desktop computer and optimized for the iPhone and its dozens of competitors.

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Armed with powerful features and able to run thousands of apps, they squeezed more functionality into one device than we'd ever seen before. The mobile revolution also brought the death of point-and-shoot cameras, dashboard GPS units, camcorders, PDAs and MP3 players. Now we use smartphones to shop, as a flashlight and sometimes even to call people. It's tech's version of the Swiss Army knife.

Now, 13 years after the iPhone's introduction, more than 3.5 billion people around the world use a smartphone, nearly half the Earth's population. You may even be using one to read this article.

Wi-Fi has become essential to our personal and professional lives.

The smartphone and the internet we use today wouldn't have been possible without wireless communication technologies such as Wi-Fi. In 1995 if you wanted to "surf" the internet at home, you had to chain yourself to a network cable like it was an extension cord. In 1997, Wi-Fi was invented and released for consumer use. With a router and a dongle for our laptop, we could unplug from the network cable and roam the house or office and remain online.

Over the years, Wi-Fi's gotten progressively faster and found its way into computers, mobile devices and even cars. Wi-Fi is so essential to our personal and professional lives today that it's almost unheard of to be in a home or public place that doesn't have it.

The internet of things allows consumer devices to connect and share information without human interaction.

Wi-Fi hasn't just allowed us to check email or escape boredom at the in-laws, it also made possible a ton of consumer devices that connect and share information without human interaction, creating a system called the internet of things. The term was coined in 1999, but the idea didn't start to take off with consumers until the past decade.

Today, there are tens of billions of internet-connected devices around the globe that allow us to perform smart home tasks such as turning on our lights, checking who's at our front door and getting an alert when we're out of milk. It also has industrial applications, such as in health care and management of municipal services.

Spending on internet of things technology is expected to hit $248 billion this year, more than twice the amount spent three years ago. In five years, the market is expected to top $1.5 trillion.

Voice assistants tell you the weather forecast, play music and help water your lawn.

For many consumers, the heart of the smart home is a voice assistant such as Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant and Apple's Siri. In addition to being a prerequisite for controlling devices in your home, their connected speakers will tell you the weather, read you the news and play music from various streaming services, among thousands of other "skills."

There were more than 3.25 billion voice assistant devices in use around the world in 2019, and that number is expected to more than double to 8 billion by 2023. But they also present a privacy headache, since the devices are essentially internet-connected microphones that transmit your conversations to servers at Amazon, Google or Apple. All three companies have admitted to using human contractors to listen to select conversations from the voice assistants in an effort to improve their software's accuracy.

Bluetooth has allowed us to hold telephone conversations while keeping both hands on the wheel.

Another wireless communication technology that has proven indispensable is Bluetooth, a radio link that connects devices over short distances. Introduced to consumers in 1999, Bluetooth was built for connecting a mobile phone to a hands-free headset, allowing you to carry on conversations while keeping your hands available for other uses, such as driving a car.

Bluetooth has since expanded to link devices like earbuds, earphones, portable wireless speakers and hearing aids to audio sources like phones, PCs, stereo receivers and even cars. Fitness trackers use Bluetooth to stream data to mobile phones, and PCs can connect wirelessly to keyboards and mice.

Between 2012 and 2018, the number of Bluetooth-enabled devices in the world nearly tripped to 10 billion. Today, Bluetooth is being employed in the smart home for uses such as unlocking door locks and beaming audio to lightbulbs with built-in speakers.

VPN helps employees work remotely and helps individuals avoid censorship.

The virtual private network, essentially an encrypted tunnel for transferring data on the internet, has proven invaluable for both businesses and individuals. Developed in 1996, the technology initially was used almost exclusively by businesses so their remote employees could securely access the company's intranet .

VPN use has grown in popularity since then, with about a quarter of internet users using a VPN in 2018. Today, other popular uses for VPNs include hiding online activity, bypassing internet censorship in countries without a free internet and avoiding geography-based restrictions on streaming services.

Bitcoin incorporates technology, currency, math, economics and social dynamics.

Bitcoin is the digital cryptocurrency that racked up headlines with its meteoric rise in value a few years back and then its equally breathtaking decline, and it's another technology made popular by anonymity. It cracked the $1,000 threshold for the first time on Jan. 1, 2017, topped $19,000 in December of that year and then lost about 50 percent of its value during the first part of 2018.

The decentralized currency incorporates technology, currency, math, economics and social dynamics. And it's anonymous; instead of using names, tax IDs or Social Security numbers, bitcoin connects buyers and sellers through encryption keys.

Computers running special software -- the "miners" -- inscribe transactions in a vast digital ledger. These blocks are known, collectively, as the "blockchain." But the computational process of mining for bitcoins can be arduous, with thousands of miners competing simultaneously.

Blockchains work as a secure digital ledger.

Perhaps bigger than bitcoin is blockchain, the encryption technology behind the cryptocurrency. Because blockchains work as a secure digital ledger, a bumper crop of startups hope to bring it to voting, lotteries, ID cards and identity verification, graphics rendering, welfare payments, job hunting and insurance payments.

It's potentially a very big deal. Analyst firm Gartner estimates that blockchain will provide $176 billion in value to businesses by 2025 and a whopping $3.1 trillion by 2030.

MP3 technology made music more portable

Entertainment has become a whole lot more portable in the past quarter century, in large part due to the introduction of the MP3 and MP4 compression technologies. Research into high-quality, low-bit-rate coding began in the 1970s. The idea was to compress audio into a digital file with little or no loss of audio quality. The MP3 standard that we know today emerged in the mid-'90s, but the first mobile MP3 player wasn't available to consumers until 1998, when South Korea's Saehan released MPMan, a flash-based player that could hold about 12 songs.

The format's popularity took off in 1999, when 19-year-old student Shawn Fanning created the software behind the pioneering file-sharing service Napster, allowing users to swap MP3 files with each other across the internet for free. That activity famously cut into the profits of the recording industry and artists, which filed lawsuits that eventually toppled Napster, but the format helped give rise to the market for streaming music services like Spotify, Apple Music and many others.

Facial recognition helps us unlock devices but also track individuals.

Facial recognition is a blossoming field of technology that's playing an ever-growing role in our lives. It's a form of biometric authentication that uses the features of your face to verify your identity.

The tech helps us unlock devices and sort photos in digital albums, but surveillance and marketing may end up being its prime uses. Cameras linked to facial recognition databases containing millions of mugshots and driver's license photos are used to identify suspected criminals. They also could be used to recognize your face and make personalized shopping recommendations as you enter a store.

Both activities raise privacy concerns, which range from law enforcement overreach, to systems with hidden racial biases, to hackers gaining access to your secure information. And some systems aren't always very accurate.

Even so, the market isn't showing any signs of stalling. In the US alone, the facial recognition industry is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2019 to $7 billion by 2024.

On the internet, artificial intelligence is used for everything from speech recognition to spam filtering.

Artificial intelligence simulating human intelligence in machines used to be confined to science fiction. But in recent decades, it's broken into the real world, becoming one of the most important technologies of our time. In addition to being the brains behind facial recognition, AI is helping to solve critical problems in transportation, retail and health care (spotting breast cancer missed by human eyes, for example). On the internet, it's used for everything from speech recognition to spam filtering. Warner Bros. even plans to use AI to analyze its potential movies and choose which ones to put into development.

But there's also fear that a dystopian future is looming with the creation of autonomous weapons, including drones, missile defense systems and sentry robots. Industry leaders have called for regulation of the technology to prevent the potential harm from tools like deepfakes, which are video forgeries that make people seem to say or do things they didn't.

Drones have been used to shoot movie sequences, deliver packages and spray pesticides over crops to protect farms.

Drones have really taken off in recent years. What started out as a hobbyist gadget has transformed industries, with the unmanned aircraft shooting movie sequences, delivering packages to hard-to-reach places, surveying construction sites and spraying pesticide over crops to protect farms.

Drones now range from noisy quadcopters to payload-carrying mini-planes. On the US-Mexico border, Customs and Border Protection uses $16 million military-style Predator drones that can fly as high as nine miles, equipped with radar strong enough to detect footprints in the sand.

In the not-too-distant future, drones are expected to crowd the skies, acting as personal air taxis and performing lifesaving duties such as delivering medicine, helping with search and rescue, and fighting fires.

DNA testing has been helpful in identifying previously unknown relatives as well as criminal suspects.

With a simple swab of your cheek or a sample of your saliva, DNA testing kits have helped deepen our understanding of ancestry, introduced us to living relatives around the world, determined paternity and shed light on a predisposition to specific health issues and diseases.

Over the past few years, the kits have become quite affordable and popular. Law enforcement agencies in particular have grown fond of the kits. Using a technique called genetic genealogy, they've cracked dozens of murder, rape and assault cases, some from decades ago.

Then investigators use traditional genealogical research to identify possible suspects, who are then tested for a DNA match to the crime scene. But the practice relies on investigators having access to a large cache of DNA profiles, and it stirs worries among privacy watchdogs.

Quantum computing is making dramatic leaps in computing power each year.

Companies and countries are pouring billions of dollars into quantum computing research and development. They're betting it will pay off by opening up new abilities in chemistry, shipping, materials design, finance, artificial intelligence and more.

The technology is beginning to show some of the promise researchers have hyped for decades. Last year, a Google-designed quantum processor called Sycamore completed a task in 200 seconds that, by Google's estimate, would take 10,000 years on the world's fastest supercomputer.

Honeywell, which once sold massive mainframes, predicts the performance of its quantum computers will grow by a factor of 10 every year for each of the next five years -- meaning they'd be 100,000 times faster in 2025.

Social media apps jockey for your attention.

The online world was a very different place two decades ago. Social networkers of a certain age may remember Friendster, the site that launched in 2002 and allowed people to fill out an online profile and connect with people they knew in real life. But two years later, Mark Zuckerberg changed everything when he launched a social-networking site for college students called Facebook. It opened to the general public in 2006 and quickly left Friendster and MySpace far behind.

Today Facebook helps people connect and stay connected, but its real business is advertising. Last year, it brought in $32 billion in ad revenue. It also helped pave the way for other social networks that help people chat, share photos and find jobs, among other activities. It now has 2.37 billion users nearly a third of the world's population.

A 3D printer in action.

3D printing -- the process of synthesizing a three-dimensional object -- is one of those technologies that edges ever closer to mainstream use every year. We've seen the concept play out on TV and in movies for years, and now with home 3D printers it's finally growing beyond a wildly exotic hobby for a small enthusiast audience.

3D printing got an early foothold as a way to design prototypes of just about anything. The technology allows manufacturers to build plastic components that are lighter than metal alternatives and with unusual shapes that can't be made by conventional injection molding methods.

The devices are used to create materials inside football helmets and Adidas running shoes, and Porsche plans to roll out a new 3D printing program that will allow customers to have their cars' seats partially 3D-printed.

Some call 3D printing the fourth industrial revolution. Spending in the field is growing at about 13% annually among large US companies, consulting firm Deloitte estimates, and will likely reach $2 billion in 2020.

Video streaming services are quickly replacing cable and satellite subscriptions for many consumers.

Twenty-five years ago, a new media storage format was taking the entertainment world by storm. DVDs had superior picture and sound quality to the VHS tape, and they took up less room on your shelves. Movie rental stores abandoned VHS for DVDs, and online rental services like Netflix popped up, offering the convenience of mailing rented discs directly to you.

Then Netflix introduced its streaming service, allowing people to watch movies and TV shows across the internet. Consumers fell in love with the convenience of on-demand programming and began the phenomenon of "cutting the cord." As more streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and YouTube emerged, consumers started canceling cable and satellite subscriptions and rental services such as Blockbuster went belly up.

By next year, more than one-fifth of US households are expected to have cut the cord on cable and satellite services, according to eMarketer.

Streaming represents 85% of all music consumption in the US.

Vinyl will always be popular among audiophiles, but streaming is still the future of music listening. Streaming music is cheap or even free (in the case of Pandora and Spotify) and outpaces any physical format when it comes to convenience.

Streaming now represents 85% of all music consumption in the US, a 7.6% increase over 2018, according to BuzzAngle Music. In 2019, on-demand audio stream consumption hit a record 705 billion streams, a 32% increase over the previous year.

In 2019, total music industry revenues rose 13% to $11.1 billion, with streaming accounting for nearly 80% of that total, according to the RIAA. But at the same time, album sales fell 23% in 2019 and song sales dropped 26%. And that's after declines of 18.2% and 28.8%, respectively, the previous year.

There are millions of apps on the market, helping perform almost any task you can imagine

Mobile apps have changed the way we consume media and communicate, from news and streaming services to texting and social media apps. They have also changed the way we go about living our daily lives, helping us find on-demand rides, short- and long-term rentals, and have food delivered to our door, just to name a few of the countless benefits.

There are more than 2 million apps in the Apple App Store, generating about $50 billion in revenue.

An Uber self-driving Ford Fusion.

The promise of autonomous vehicles has been touted for more than a decade: Without human drivers, proponents say, cars will be safer and more comfortable, especially on long trips. Technology companies have been working on making them a reality for a long time. The driverless vehicle fleet from Waymo, the autonomous car company owned by Google parent Alphabet, has driven more than 20 million miles on public roads since its founding in 2009.

Fully self-driving cars may not arrive in dealerships for another decade, but we're already benefiting from the technology being developed for autonomous vehicles, including adaptive cruise control, automatic forward-collision braking, automatic parking, autopilot and lane-keep assist.

RFID helps many car woners unlock and start their cars without using a key.

Retailers fell in love with radio frequency identification tracking some 20 years ago, touting the little chips as a convenient way to control inventory and reduce theft, without people having to make contact with the tagged item. Today, they have a variety of applications, including tracking cars, computer equipment and books. They're implanted into animals to help identify the owners of lost pets, farmers use them to monitor crops and livestock, and they help food companies track the source of packaged goods.

Thanks to growing demand, especially in the medical and health care industries, where the tracking technology is used to monitor patients and label medications, spending in the RFID tag industry is projected to hit $17 billion, more than twice the $8.2 billion spent in 2018.

Virtual reality isn't just about gaming.

Companies large and small have begun using virtual reality, which transports users to a computer-generated world. Once confined to the realm of science-fiction movies like Walt Disney's Tron, virtual reality has grown into a real-world industry worth an estimated $18 billion.

While the video game industry was expected to get an economic boost from virtual reality, the broader tech industry sees other applications for the nascent technology, including education, health care, architecture and entertainment.

A boy in the San Francisco Bay Area meets up with his preschool classmates and teachers with the Zoom videoconferencing app.

As the coronavirus pandemic has changed the world we live in, forcing us to avoid contact with others and shelter in place, videoconferencing has exploded in popularity. A few months ago, this technology wouldn't have made our list, but now it's proving indispensable. Video telephony has been around in some form since the 1970s, but it wasn't until the web debuted that the technology took off.

Along with webcams, free internet services such as Skype and iChat popularized the tech in the 2000s, taking videoconferencing to all corners of the internet. The corporate world embraced the tool as a way to cut down on employee travel for meetings and as a marketing tool.

As companies and schools implemented policies on work and study from home, video chatting and conferencing apps grew in popularity as a way to get work done and communicate with friends and family, especially among people who had never used the tech before.

E-cigarettes were pitched as a healthier alternative to cigarettes, but they have provoked new health concerns.

Battery-operated e-cigarettes hit the US market about a decade ago, touted as a safer alternative to traditional tobacco cigarettes. However, they didn't really gain traction until 2015, when Juul Labs debuted its discreet USB-size vaporizer and quickly became the industry leader.

In 2019, an increasing number of people who vape were winding up in hospital with symptoms that include coughing, shortness of breath and other health problems after vaping -- and at least 54 people have died.

Juul is accused in a lawsuit of illegally targeting young people online in advertising campaigns. Vaping companies have been sued on similar grounds in other courts. San Francisco banned the sale of e-cigarettes in June.

Ransomware attacks cost more than $7 billion each year.

The first ransomware attack can be traced to the late 1980s, but the malware has grown in prominence as one of the greatest cybersecurity threats since 2005. Ransomware locks down a victim's computer system until a ransom, usually in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, is paid. Hackers often threaten to erase data. It spreads like other malware does, through email attachments or unsecured links.

Ransomware attacks skyrocketed in 2019, hitting nearly 1,000 government agencies, educational establishments and health care providers in the US, at an estimated cost of $7.5 billion.

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Bipartisan push for US$100 billion investment in science – University World News

§ June 1st, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Bipartisan push for US$100 billion investment in science – University World News

UNITED STATES

The Endless Frontier Act was introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (Democrat, New York), Senator Todd Young (Republican, Indiana), Representative Ro Khanna (Democrat, California) and Representative Mike Gallagher (Republican, Wisconsin).

The preamble to the act warns that although the United States has been the unequivocal global leader in scientific and technological innovation since the end of World War II, and as a result the American people have benefited through good-paying jobs, economic prosperity and a higher quality of life, today this leadership position is being eroded.

Far too many of our communities have tremendous innovation potential but lack the critical public investment to build the nations strength in new technologies, while our foreign competitors, some of whom are stealing American intellectual property, are aggressively investing in fundamental research and commercialisation to dominate the key technology fields of the future.

It says: Without a significant increase in investment in fundamental scientific research, education and training, technology transfer and entrepreneurship, and the broader US innovation ecosystem across the nation, it is only a matter of time before Americas global competitors catch-up and overtake the US in terms of technological primacy: whichever country wins the race in key technologies such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced communications, and advanced manufacturing will be the superpower of the future.

The bill argues that the US government needs to catalyse US innovation by boosting investments in the discovery, creation and commercialisation of new technologies that ensure American leadership in the industries of the future.

The bill would rename the National Science Foundation (NSF) the National Science and Technology Foundation (NSTF) and task a new deputy director with executing the new funding of fundamental research related to specific recognised global technology challenges with geostrategic implications for the United States and create within it a Technology Directorate.

The authorisation for the new directorate would be US$100 billion over five years to reinvigorate American leadership in the discovery and application of key technologies that will define global competitiveness.

Connecting disadvantaged populations

An additional US$10 billion would be authorised over five years for the Department of Commerce to designate at least 10 regional technology hubs, awarding funds for comprehensive investment initiatives that position regions across the country to be global centres for the research, development and manufacturing of key technologies.

There would be a drive to connect disadvantaged populations and places to new job and business opportunities developing key technologies.

Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities which comprises 239 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organisations said: Public research universities applaud Senators Schumer and Young and Representatives Khanna and Gallagher for their work across the aisle to bolster US discovery and innovation.

The Endless Frontier Act, whose name is taken from a 1945 report that issued a clarion call for what would become the National Science Foundation, serves as a key step in driving US global scientific leadership in the 21st century.

Now more than ever, we need a national commitment to science and research on a grand level. Research and innovation can create new sectors of the global economy, drive economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and ultimately deliver long-term economic growth.

The Science Coalition, which represents more than 50 leading public and private research universities, issued a statement saying: In recent years, America has fallen behind its global counterparts in overall support and funding for fundamental scientific research, and this imbalance jeopardises our global economic competitiveness and our national security.

These lawmakers are right to prioritise funding for NSF and a new generation of cutting-edge research and technology. We commend their commitment to our researchers and STEM workforce pipeline that would chart a new course for American science and innovation.

According to the bill, the new directorate would fund research in the following areas:

Artificial intelligence and machine learning; High performance computing, semiconductors and advanced computer hardware; Quantum computing and information systems; Robotics, automation and advanced manufacturing; Natural or anthropogenic disaster prevention; Advanced communications technology; biotechnology, genomics and synthetic biology; Advanced energy technology; Cybersecurity, data storage and data management technologies; and Materials science, engineering and exploration relevant to the other focus areas.

The authorised activities would include:

Increases in research spending at universities, which can form consortia that include private industry, to advance US progress in key technology areas, including the creation of focused research centres.

New undergraduate scholarships, industry training programmes, graduate fellowships and traineeships and post-doctoral support in the targeted research areas to develop the US workforce.

The development of test-bed and fabrication facilities.

Programmes to facilitate and accelerate the transfer of new technologies from the lab to the marketplace, including expanding access to investment capital.

Planning and coordination with state and local economic development stakeholders and the private sector to build regional innovation ecosystems.

Increases in research spending for collaboration with US allies, partners and international organisations.

McPherson said the bill was needed to enable the US to compete with global rivals.

Federal investment in R&D has languished in recent decades. As a share of the economy, its a third of what it was at its peak. China, and other countries, meanwhile, have vastly expanded their investments in research and development, he said.

The current pandemic has underscored the critical need to redouble public investment in research and development. We must ensure more of these innovations and advancements take place in the US rather than elsewhere around the globe, he added.

This bill would not only advance US innovation, but also would help ensure the fruits of innovation are broadly shared. Investing in research across the country and in critical sectors such as quantum computing, biotechnology and robotics will help secure our place as home to the worlds most dynamic and advanced economy, McPherson said.

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Upload Is the Latest Show Treating the Afterlife as Simulation – Observer

§ June 1st, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Upload Is the Latest Show Treating the Afterlife as Simulation – Observer

Greg Daniels new Amazon Prime Video series Uploadturns the afterlife into a very familiar place. In the show, Nathan (Robbie Amell) is uploaded to a sort of Four Seasons deluxe V.R. estate after he suffers a fatal car crash. He can still call and chat with his living friends and family, but can never leave the digital afterlife program that serves as his version of heaven.

Upload presents a less than perfect take of the afterlife. Aside from being unable to go back to a physical body, Nathans seemingly perfect, high-end resort ends up playingmore like a freemium game, complete with DLCs for food, clothing and loot boxes. Its basically The Good Place by way of Parasite.

Though Upload is far from the first TV show to take place in the afterlifethat was The Good Places bread and butter after allthe Greg Daniels comedy is also part of a recent wave of TV shows using computer simulations to give us a glimpse into heavenand they usually end up about as scary and bad as youd expect.

SEE ALSO: Disney+ Finally Lets You Watch Simpsons the Right Way

The dark comedy, sci-fi show Black Mirror first explored the idea of the afterlife as a simulated reality in San Junipero which ends with a shot of a massive warehouse filled with thousands upon thousands of blinking hard drives, presumably housing all the residents of San Junipero. Though this afterlife is full of 80s nostalgia and endless parties, the show does ask the question of whether a simulated reality version of you is really you, which is a question that always comes up in this type of story. Similarly, before he explored what the robot uprising could look like in Westworld, Jonathan Nolan showed us what it could look like if a machine knew enough about us to make a copy of our minds in Person of Interest.

Though not a big part of the show, after one of the main characters in Person of Interest dies, the artificial intelligence at the center of the show starts speaking with the voice of the dead character, and takes on part of their personality. The shows explanation is that the machine remembers all the main characters and knows everything about them, so it can replicate them as perfect simulations, essentially letting them live forever.

Upload doesnt try to hide the fact that its afterlife, and its inhabitants, are at best a computer interpretation of what humans are. In the first episode of the show, a customer service representative named Nora (Andy Allo) builds Nathans virtual avatar as she downloads all his memories into the virtual afterlife. The problem comes when some of the memories seem to be corrupted, however, which becomes a big part of the shows plot. Similarly, it seems like you cant ever alter your avatar, as Nathan tries across a few episodes to change the weird haircut Nora chose for him, unsuccessfully. Meanwhile, one of the resorts residents died as a kid, but never grows up in the afterlife, even if his siblings and friends kept getting old in the outside world. The people inside Uploads afterlife turns people into essentially pieces of data, which can be paused, altered and completely erased at the push of a button.

Season 2 of Westworld spent some time exploring the flaws and futility of using technology to achieve immortality. The show reveals that the purpose of the titular park was to gather data on guests in order to copy the consciousness of billionaire guests and build them robot bodies so they could live forever. The season 2 episode The Riddle of the Sphinx introduces a host version of the parks owner, James Delos (Peter Mullan), but only its faulty, barely capable of speech and incapable of going off-script orthinking like an actual person.

The shows version of the afterlife, The Forge, takes 18 million virtual versions of Delos before it found a copy faithful enough to recreate the decisions the real Delos made in the park, and then even after 149 host versions were produced, it was still far from a perfect simulation. Even if Westworld argues that even if human beings are so simple beings that we amount to just about 10,000 lines of code, the Delos project is still never able to produce a host copy thats true to the original human.

Alex Garland imagines a similar nightmarish afterlife for his sci-fi drama Devs, which involves a plan to have people, more specifically just one rich Silicon Valley guy, live forever in a simulation. In the show, Forest (Nick Offerman) builds a quantum computer to create a fully simulated universe where his loved ones dont die and his consciousness can be transferred to before dying. In the final episode, Forest rejoins his wife and daughter in his version of heaven, but while he seems very happy with his situation, Forest confesses that his original plan to create a single reality was a failure.

Instead, the quantum computer created countless multiverses, the one we see allows the characters to live happily ever after, but Forest knows there are countless versions of him existing in the countless other simulations, many of which look more like hell. Though the show doesnt spend a lot of time with the specifics of how the consciousness transfer works, it is heavily implied that this also is the machines interpretation of the characters consciousness via countless calculations, rather than an actual uploading process.

We dont yet know when or if well be able to upload our minds into a computer, or what the results might be. But if it looks anything like TV,eternal life will probably look a hell of a lot like regular life, including all its existential questions and economic problems.

Observation Pointsis a semi-regular discussion of key details in our culture.

Upload is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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A Jargon-Free Account of the Many-Worlds Theory of Quantum Mechanics – The Wire

§ May 28th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on A Jargon-Free Account of the Many-Worlds Theory of Quantum Mechanics – The Wire

Photo:Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash, (CC BY-SA)

Quantum physics is strange. At least, it is strange to us, because the rules of the quantum world, which govern the way the world works at the level of atoms and subatomic particles (the behaviour of light and matter, as the renowned physicist Richard Feynman put it), are not the rules that we are familiar with the rules of what we call common sense.

The quantum rules, which were mostly established by the end of the 1920s, seem to be telling us that a cat can be both alive and dead at the same time, while a particle can be in two places at once. But to the great distress of many physicists, let alone ordinary mortals, nobody (then or since) has been able to come up with a common-sense explanation of what is going on. More thoughtful physicists have sought solace in other ways, to be sure, namely coming up with a variety of more or less desperate remedies to explain what is going on in the quantum world.

These remedies, the quanta of solace, are called interpretations. At the level of the equations, none of these interpretations is better than any other, although the interpreters and their followers will each tell you that their own favored interpretation is the one true faith, and all those who follow other faiths are heretics. On the other hand, none of the interpretations is worse than any of the others, mathematically speaking. Most probably, this means that we are missing something. One day, a glorious new description of the world may be discovered that makes all the same predictions as present-day quantum theory, but also makes sense. Well, at least we can hope.

Meanwhile, I thought I might provide an agnostic overview of one of the more colorful of the hypotheses, the many-worlds, or multiple universes, theory. For overviews of the other five leading interpretations, I point you to my book, Six Impossible Things. I think youll find that all of them are crazy, compared with common sense, and some are more crazy than others. But in this world, crazy does not necessarily mean wrong, and being more crazy does not necessarily mean more wrong.

If you have heard of the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI), the chances are you think that it was invented by the American Hugh Everett in the mid-1950s. In a way thats true. He did come up with the idea all by himself. But he was unaware that essentially the same idea had occurred to Erwin Schrdinger half a decade earlier. Everetts version is more mathematical, Schrdingers more philosophical, but the essential point is that both of them were motivated by a wish to get rid of the idea of the collapse of the wave function, and both of them succeeded.

Also read: If You Thought Quantum Mechanics Was Weird, Wait Till You Hear About Entangled Time

As Schrdinger used to point out to anyone who would listen, there is nothing in the equations (including his famous wave equation) about collapse. That was something that Bohr bolted on to the theory to explain why we only see one outcome of an experiment a dead cat or a live cat not a mixture, a superposition of states. But because we only detect one outcome one solution to the wave function that need not mean that the alternative solutions do not exist. In a paper he published in 1952, Schrdinger pointed out the ridiculousness of expecting a quantum superposition to collapse just because we look at it. It was, he wrote, patently absurd that the wave function should be controlled in two entirely different ways, at times by the wave equation, but occasionally by direct interference of the observer, not controlled by the wave equation.

Although Schrdinger himself did not apply his idea to the famous cat, it neatly resolves that puzzle. Updating his terminology, there are two parallel universes, or worlds, in one of which the cat lives, and in one of which it dies. When the box is opened in one universe, a dead cat is revealed. In the other universe, there is a live cat. But there always were two worlds that had been identical to one another until the moment when the diabolical device determined the fate of the cat(s). There is no collapse of the wave function. Schrdinger anticipated the reaction of his colleagues in a talk he gave in Dublin, where he was then based, in 1952. After stressing that when his eponymous equation seems to describe different possibilities (they are not alternatives but all really happen simultaneously), he said:

Nearly every result [the quantum theorist] pronounces is about the probability of this or that or that happening with usually a great many alternatives. The idea that they may not be alternatives but all really happen simultaneously seems lunatic to him, just impossible. He thinks that if the laws of nature took this form for, let me say, a quarter of an hour, we should find our surroundings rapidly turning into a quagmire, or sort of a featureless jelly or plasma, all contours becoming blurred, we ourselves probably becoming jelly fish. It is strange that he should believe this. For I understand he grants that unobserved nature does behave this waynamely according to the wave equation. The aforesaid alternatives come into play only when we make an observation which need, of course, not be a scientific observation. Still it would seem that, according to the quantum theorist, nature is prevented from rapid jellification only by our perceiving or observing it it is a strange decision.

In fact, nobody responded to Schrdingers idea. It was ignored and forgotten, regarded as impossible. So Everett developed his own version of the MWI entirely independently, only for it to be almost as completely ignored. But it was Everett who introduced the idea of the Universe splitting into different versions of itself when faced with quantum choices, muddying the waters for decades.

It was Hugh Everett who introduced the idea of the Universe splitting into different versions of itself when faced with quantum choices, muddying the waters for decades.

Everett came up with the idea in 1955, when he was a PhD student at Princeton. In the original version of his idea, developed in a draft of his thesis, which was not published at the time, he compared the situation with an amoeba that splits into two daughter cells. If amoebas had brains, each daughter would remember an identical history up until the point of splitting, then have its own personal memories. In the familiar cat analogy, we have one universe, and one cat, before the diabolical device is triggered, then two universes, each with its own cat, and so on. Everetts PhD supervisor, John Wheeler, encouraged him to develop a mathematical description of his idea for his thesis, and for a paper published in the Reviews of Modern Physics in 1957, but along the way, the amoeba analogy was dropped and did not appear in print until later. But Everett did point out that since no observer would ever be aware of the existence of the other worlds, to claim that they cannot be there because we cannot see them is no more valid than claiming that the Earth cannot be orbiting around the Sun because we cannot feel the movement.

Also read: What Is Quantum Biology?

Everett himself never promoted the idea of the MWI. Even before he completed his PhD, he had accepted the offer of a job at the Pentagon working in the Weapons Systems Evaluation Group on the application of mathematical techniques (the innocently titled game theory) to secret Cold War problems (some of his work was so secret that it is still classified) and essentially disappeared from the academic radar. It wasnt until the late 1960s that the idea gained some momentum when it was taken up and enthusiastically promoted by Bryce DeWitt, of the University of North Carolina, who wrote: every quantum transition taking place in every star, in every galaxy, in every remote corner of the universe is splitting our local world on Earth into myriad copies of itself. This became too much for Wheeler, who backtracked from his original endorsement of the MWI, and in the 1970s, said: I have reluctantly had to give up my support of that point of view in the end because I am afraid it carries too great a load of metaphysical baggage. Ironically, just at that moment, the idea was being revived and transformed through applications in cosmology and quantum computing.

Every quantum transition taking place in every star, in every galaxy, in every remote corner of the universe is splitting our local world on Earth into myriad copies of itself.

The power of the interpretation began to be appreciated even by people reluctant to endorse it fully. John Bell noted that persons of course multiply with the world, and those in any particular branch would experience only what happens in that branch, and grudgingly admitted that there might be something in it:

The many worlds interpretation seems to me an extravagant, and above all an extravagantly vague, hypothesis. I could almost dismiss it as silly. And yet It may have something distinctive to say in connection with the Einstein Podolsky Rosen puzzle, and it would be worthwhile, I think, to formulate some precise version of it to see if this is really so. And the existence of all possible worlds may make us more comfortable about the existence of our own world which seems to be in some ways a highly improbable one.

The precise version of the MWI came from David Deutsch, in Oxford, and in effect put Schrdingers version of the idea on a secure footing, although when he formulated his interpretation, Deutsch was unaware of Schrdingers version. Deutsch worked with DeWitt in the 1970s, and in 1977, he met Everett at a conference organized by DeWitt the only time Everett ever presented his ideas to a large audience. Convinced that the MWI was the right way to understand the quantum world, Deutsch became a pioneer in the field of quantum computing, not through any interest in computers as such, but because of his belief that the existence of a working quantum computer would prove the reality of the MWI.

This is where we get back to a version of Schrdingers idea. In the Everett version of the cat puzzle, there is a single cat up to the point where the device is triggered. Then the entire Universe splits in two. Similarly, as DeWitt pointed out, an electron in a distant galaxy confronted with a choice of two (or more) quantum paths causes the entire Universe, including ourselves, to split. In the DeutschSchrdinger version, there is an infinite variety of universes (a Multiverse) corresponding to all possible solutions to the quantum wave function. As far as the cat experiment is concerned, there are many identical universes in which identical experimenters construct identical diabolical devices. These universes are identical up to the point where the device is triggered. Then, in some universes the cat dies, in some it lives, and the subsequent histories are correspondingly different. But the parallel worlds can never communicate with one another. Or can they?

Deutsch argues that when two or more previously identical universes are forced by quantum processes to become distinct, as in the experiment with two holes, there is a temporary interference between the universes, which becomes suppressed as they evolve. It is this interaction that causes the observed results of those experiments. His dream is to see the construction of an intelligent quantum machine a computer that would monitor some quantum phenomenon involving interference going on within its brain. Using a rather subtle argument, Deutsch claims that an intelligent quantum computer would be able to remember the experience of temporarily existing in parallel realities. This is far from being a practical experiment. But Deutsch also has a much simpler proof of the existence of the Multiverse.

What makes a quantum computer qualitatively different from a conventional computer is that the switches inside it exist in a superposition of states. A conventional computer is built up from a collection of switches (units in electrical circuits) that can be either on or off, corresponding to the digits 1 or 0. This makes it possible to carry out calculations by manipulating strings of numbers in binary code. Each switch is known as a bit, and the more bits there are, the more powerful the computer is. Eight bits make a byte, and computer memory today is measured in terms of billions of bytes gigabytes, or Gb. Strictly speaking, since we are dealing in binary, a gigabyte is 230 bytes, but that is usually taken as read. Each switch in a quantum computer, however, is an entity that can be in a superposition of states. These are usually atoms, but you can think of them as being electrons that are either spin up or spin down. The difference is that in the superposition, they are both spin up and spin down at the same time 0 and 1. Each switch is called a qbit, pronounced cubit.

Using a rather subtle argument, Deutsch claims that an intelligent quantum computer would be able to remember the experience of temporarily existing in parallel realities.

Because of this quantum property, each qbit is equivalent to two bits. This doesnt look impressive at first sight, but it is. If you have three qbits, for example, they can be arranged in eight ways: 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111. The superposition embraces all these possibilities. So three qbits are not equivalent to six bits (2 x 3), but to eight bits (2 raised to the power of 3). The equivalent number of bits is always 2 raised to the power of the number of qbits. Just 10 qbits would be equivalent to 210 bits, actually 1,024, but usually referred to as a kilobit. Exponentials like this rapidly run away with themselves. A computer with just 300 qbits would be equivalent to a conventional computer with more bits than there are atoms in the observable Universe. How could such a computer carry out calculations? The question is more pressing since simple quantum computers, incorporating a few qbits, have already been constructed and shown to work as expected. They really are more powerful than conventional computers with the same number of bits.

Deutschs answer is that the calculation is carried out simultaneously on identical computers in each of the parallel universes corresponding to the superpositions. For a three-qbit computer, that means eight superpositions of computer scientists working on the same problem using identical computers to get an answer. It is no surprise that they should collaborate in this way, since the experimenters are identical, with identical reasons for tackling the same problem. That isnt too difficult to visualize. But when we build a 300-qbit machinewhich will surely happenwe will, if Deutsch is right, be involving a collaboration between more universes than there are atoms in our visible Universe. It is a matter of choice whether you think that is too great a load of metaphysical baggage. But if you do, you will need some other way to explain why quantum computers work.

Also read: The Science and Chaos of Complex Systems

Most quantum computer scientists prefer not to think about these implications. But there is one group of scientists who are used to thinking of even more than six impossible things before breakfast the cosmologists. Some of them have espoused the Many Worlds Interpretation as the best way to explain the existence of the Universe itself.

Their jumping-off point is the fact, noted by Schrdinger, that there is nothing in the equations referring to a collapse of the wave function. And they do mean thewave function; just one, which describes the entire world as a superposition of states a Multiverse made up of a superposition of universes.

Some cosmologists have espoused the Many Worlds Interpretation as the best way to explain the existence of the Universe itself.

The first version of Everetts PhD thesis (later modified and shortened on the advice of Wheeler) was actually titled The Theory of the Universal Wave Function. And by universal he meant literally that, saying:

Since the universal validity of the state function description is asserted, one can regard the state functions themselves as the fundamental entities, and one can even consider the state function of the whole universe. In this sense this theory can be called the theory of the universal wave function, since all of physics is presumed to follow from this function alone.

where for the present purpose state function is another name for wave function. All of physics means everything, including us the observers in physics jargon. Cosmologists are excited by this, not because they are included in the wave function, but because this idea of a single, uncollapsed wave function is the only way in which the entire Universe can be described in quantum mechanical terms while still being compatible with the general theory of relativity. In the short version of his thesis published in 1957, Everett concluded that his formulation of quantum mechanics may therefore prove a fruitful framework for the quantization of general relativity. Although that dream has not yet been fulfilled, it has encouraged a great deal of work by cosmologists since the mid-1980s, when they latched on to the idea. But it does bring with it a lot of baggage.

The universal wave function describes the position of every particle in the Universe at a particular moment in time. But it also describes every possible location of those particles at that instant. And it also describes every possible location of every particle at any other instant of time, although the number of possibilities is restricted by the quantum graininess of space and time. Out of this myriad of possible universes, there will be many versions in which stable stars and planets, and people to live on those planets, cannot exist. But there will be at least some universes resembling our own, more or less accurately, in the way often portrayed in science fiction stories. Or, indeed, in other fiction. Deutsch has pointed out that according to the MWI, any world described in a work of fiction, provided it obeys the laws of physics, really does exist somewhere in the Multiverse. There really is, for example, a Wuthering Heights world (but not a Harry Potter world).

That isnt the end of it. The single wave function describes all possible universes at all possible times. But it doesnt say anything about changing from one state to another. Time does not flow. Sticking close to home, Everetts parameter, called a state vector, includes a description of a world in which we exist, and all the records of that worlds history, from our memories, to fossils, to light reaching us from distant galaxies, exist. There will also be another universe exactly the same except that the time step has been advanced by, say, one second (or one hour, or one year). But there is no suggestion that any universe moves along from one time step to another. There will be a me in this second universe, described by the universal wave function, who has all the memories I have at the first instant, plus those corresponding to a further second (or hour, or year, or whatever). But it is impossible to say that these versions of me are the same person. Different time states can be ordered in terms of the events they describe, defining the difference between past and future, but they do not change from one state to another. All the states just exist. Time, in the way we are used to thinking of it, does not flow in Everetts MWI.

John Gribbin is a Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex, UK and the author of In Search of Schrdingers Cat, The Universe: A Biography and Six Impossible Thingsfrom which this article is excerpted.

Thisarticlehas been republished fromThe MIT Press Reader.

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Quantum Computing appoints IT expert and industry thought leader Majed Saadi to technical advisory board – Proactive Investors USA & Canada

§ May 28th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Quantum Computing appoints IT expert and industry thought leader Majed Saadi to technical advisory board – Proactive Investors USA & Canada

Saadi brings more than 20 years of executive leadership and experience in strategy development and IT transformation

Quantum Computing Inc () has appointed noted information technology expert and industry thought leader Majed Saadi to serve on the companys technical advisory board.

In a statement Thursday, the company said Saadi brings more than 20 years of executive leadership and experience in strategy development and IT transformation, as well as functional knowledge in the domains of cloud computing, platform development, enterprise architecture, and enterprise systems management.

Saadi has held senior positions at large federal systems integrators, value-added resellers and consulting firms, where he has been responsible for codifying capabilities and offerings, as well as supporting technical innovation. He has also supported the mission of federal agencies and commercial and educational organizations.

He currently serves in a divisional senior management position at a global aerospace and defense company, focused on the deployment of major networks and systems for government and commercial customers.

Majeds experience in the large IT systems integrator domain will help advance our go-to-market strategy, and particularly in positioning QCI as a key partner to integrators," said Quantum Com[uting CEO Robert Liscouski in a statement.

His knowledge and skills as a large-company CTO and focus on mission-centric systems will also enable us to better present our software capabilities as clients look to quantum technologies to enhance their business applications.

Saadi is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and symposiums on topics ranging from public health IT to the impact of cloud computing on modern organizations. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Notre Dame University and a Masters Degree in IT Management from the University of Virginia.

I am excited to join QCIs advisory board during this pivotal period in its development and commercial launch, and help the company deliver on the tremendous promise of quantum computing technologies to power some of the worlds greatest computational and processor-intense applications, Saadi said.

Staffed by experts in mathematics, quantum physics, supercomputing, financing and cryptography, Leesburg, Virginia-based Quantumis developing an array of applications to allow companies to exploit the power of quantum computing to their advantage.

The company is placing a gargantuan bet on the power of quantum computers to solve the most difficult and intractable problems in the fields of portfolio management, big data and artificial intelligence.

Contact the author: [emailprotected]

Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

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The University of New Mexico Becomes IBM Q Hub’s First University Member – UNM Newsroom

§ May 28th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on The University of New Mexico Becomes IBM Q Hub’s First University Member – UNM Newsroom

Q Hub membership and new faculty hire will build on existing quantum expertise and investments

Under the direction of Michael Devetsikiotis, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), The University of New Mexico recently joined the IBM Q Hub at North Carolina State University as its first university member.

The NC State IBM Q Hub is a cloud-based quantum computing hub, one of six worldwide and the first in North America to be part of the global IBM Q Network. This global network links national laboratories, tech startups, Fortune 500 companies, and research universities, providing access to IBMs largest quantum computing systems.

Michael Devetsikiotis, chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mainstream computer processors inside our laptops, desktops, and smartphones manipulate bits, information that can only exist as either a 1 or a 0. In other words, the computers we are used to function through programming, which dictates a series of commands with choices restricted to yes/no or if this, then that.Quantum computers, on the other hand, process quantum bits or qubits, that are not restricted to a binary choice. Quantum computers can choose if this, then that or both through complex physics concepts such as quantum entanglement. This allows quantum computers to process information more quickly, and in unique ways compared to conventional computers.

Access to systems such as IBMs newly announced 53 qubit processor (as well as several 20 qubit machines) is just one of the many benefits to UNMs participation in the IBM Q Hub when it comes to data analysis and algorithm development for quantum hardware. Quantum knowledge will only grow with time, and the IBM Q Hub will provide unique training and research opportunities for UNM faculty and student researchers for years to come.

Quantum computer developed by IBM Research in Zrich, Switzerland.

How did this partnership come to be? Two years ago, a sort of call to arms was sent out among UNM quantum experts, saying now was the time for big ideas because federal support for quantum research was gaining traction. Devetsikiotis vision was to create a quantum ecosystem, one that could unite the foundational quantum research in physics atUNM's Center for Quantum Information and Control(CQuIC) with new quantum computing and engineering initiatives for solving big real-world mathematical problems.

At first, I thought [quantum] was something for physicists, explains Devetsikiotis. But I realized its a great opportunity for the ECE department to develop real engineering solutions to these real-world problems.

CQuIC is the foundation of UNMs long-standing involvement in quantum research, resulting in participation in the National Quantum Initiative (NQI) passed by Congress in 2018 to support multidisciplinary research and training in quantum information science. UNM has been a pioneer in quantum information science since the field emerged 25 years ago, as CQuIC Director Ivan Deutsch knows first-hand.

This is a very vibrant time in our field, moving from physics to broader activities, says Deutsch, and [Devetsikiotis] has seen this as a real growth area, connecting engineering with the existing strengths we have in the CQuIC.

With strategic support from the Office of the Vice President for Research, Devetsikiotis secured National Science Foundation funding to support a Quantum Computing & Information Science (QCIS) faculty fellow. The faculty member will join the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with the goal to unite well-established quantum research in physics with new quantum education and research initiatives in engineering. This includes membership in CQuIC and implementation of the IBM Q Hub program, as well as a partnership with Los Alamos National Lab for a Quantum Computing Summer School to develop new curricula, educational materials, and mentorship of next-generation quantum computing and information scientists.

IBM Q Hub at North Carolina State University.

As part of the Q Hub at NC State, UNM gains access to IBMs largest quantum computing systems for commercial use cases and fundamental research. It also allows for the restructuring of existing quantum courses to be more hands-on and interdisciplinary than they have in the past, as well as the creation of new courses, a new masters degree program in QCIS, and a new university-wide Ph.D. concentration in QCIS that can be added to several departments including ECE, Computer Science, Physics and Astronomy, and Chemistry.

Theres been a lot of challenges, Devetsikiotis says, but there has also been a lot of good timing, and thankfully The University has provided support for us. UNM has solidified our seat at the quantum table and can now bring in the industrial side.

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OODAcast with Congressman Will Hurd – OODA Loop

§ May 28th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on OODAcast with Congressman Will Hurd – OODA Loop

In this OODAcast, OODA CEO Matt Devost interviews Congressman Will Hurd in a wide ranging discussion that touches on issues of geopolitical risk, cybersecurity, cyber risk and ways to help ensure our nation is prepared to compete and win in an age of rapid technological innovation. Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Communications (5G) and other mega-trends of technology are examined, as well as insights into leadership in the modern world.

Will Hurd, a San Antonio native and Texas A&M Computer Science Graduate, never planned on being a member of Congress. Congressman Hurd was excited to spend his entire career serving his country by stopping terrorists, preventing Russian spies from stealing our secrets and putting nuclear weapons proliferators out of business as an undercover officer in the CIA, until he realized that his expertise in cybersecurity and intelligence was sorely needed in Congress the people charged with making informed decisions about how to serve and protect our country. Since being elected in 2014, Will has continued to blaze his own trail to deliver bipartisan results for the 800,000 Texans he calls his bosses by working with anyone regardless of politics and party to help make sure our kids are ready for the future, that our country is safe and that the United States will always be the leader of the free world. Texas Monthly and Politico Magazine have called him the Future of the GOP. His efforts to put good policy over good politics have clearly struck a chord in a country that is often consumed with what divides us instead of what unites us.

Podcast Version:

Additional Resources:

Congressman Will Hurd

The Future of AI is Largely Unwritten with Will Hurd

AI Security: Four Things to Focus on Right Now

A Decision-Makers Guide to Artificial Intelligence

When Artificial Intelligence Goes Wrong

Artificial Intelligence for Business Advantage

The Executives Guide To Quantum Computing:

Is Quantum Computing Ushering in an Era of No More Secrets?

Quantum Computing Sensemaking

Mitigating Risks To Americas Cognitive Infrastructure

Cyber Sensemaking:

11 Habits of Highly Effective CISOs

Essential Management Strategies for Cybersecurity

10 Red Teaming Lessons Learned Over 20 Years

The Five Modes of HACKthink

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Virtual ICM Seminar: ‘The Promises of the One Health Concept in the Age of Anthropocen’ – HPCwire

§ May 28th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Virtual ICM Seminar: ‘The Promises of the One Health Concept in the Age of Anthropocen’ – HPCwire

May 27, 2020 The Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling (ICM) at the University of Warsaw invites enthusiasts of HPC and all people interested in challenging topics in Computer and Computational Science to the ICM Seminar in Computer and Computational Science that will be held on May 28, 2020 (16:00 CEST). The event is free.

On May 28, 2020, Dr. Aneta Afelt from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling department at the University of Warsaw, Espace-DEV, IRD Institut de Recherche pour le Dveloppement, will present a lecture titled, The Promises of the One Health Concept in the Age of Anthropocen

The lecture will dive into the One Health concept. In May 2019 an article was published: Anthropocene now: influential panel votes to recognize Earths new epoch situating at the stratigraphy of Earths history a new geological epoch the domination of human influence on shaping the Earths environment. When humans are a central figure in an ecological niche it results in massive subordination and transformation of the environment for their needs. Unfortunately, the outcome of such actions is a robbery of natural resources. The consequences are socially unexpected a global epidemiological crisis. The current COVID-19 pandemic is an excellent example. It seems that one of the most important questions of the anthropocene era is how to maintain stable epidemiological conditions for now and in the future. The One Health concept proposes a new paradigm a deep look at the sources of humanitys well-being: humanitys relationship with the environment. Humanitys health status is interdependent with the well-being of the environment. It is clear that the socio-ecological niche disturbance results in the spread of pathogens. Can sustainable development of socio-ecological niches help? The lecture dives into the results!

To register, visithttps://supercomputingfrontiers.eu/2020/tickets/neijis7eekieshee/

ICM Seminars is an extension of the international Supercomputing Frontiers Europe conference, which took place March 23-25th in virtual space.

The digital edition of SCFE gathered of the order of 1000 participants we want to continue this formula ofOpen Sciencemeetings despite the pandemic and use this forum to present the results of the most current research in the areas of HPC, AI, quantum computing, Big Data, IoT, computer and data networks and many others, says Dr. Marek Michalewicz, chair of the Organising Committee, SCFE2020 and ICM Seminars in Computer and Computational Science.

Registrationfor all weekly events is free. The ICM Seminars began with an inaugural lecture on April 1st by Scott Aronson, David J. Bruton Centennial Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas. Aronson led the presentation titled Quantum Computational Supremacy and Its Applications.

For more information, visithttps://supercomputingfrontiers.eu/2020/seminars/

About the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling (ICM), University of Warsaw (UW)

Established by a resolution of the Senate of the University of Warsaw dated 29 June 1993, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling (ICM), University of Warsaw, is one of the top HPC centres in Poland. ICM is engaged in serving the needs of a large community of computational researchers in Poland through provision of HPC and grid resources, storage, networking and expertise. It has always been an active research centre with high quality research contributions in computer and computational science, numerical weather prediction, visualisation, materials engineering, digital repositories, social network analysis and other areas.

Source: ICM UW

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Could this be Elon Musk’s biggest day yet? – Politico

§ May 28th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Could this be Elon Musk’s biggest day yet? – Politico

With help from John Hendel and Mark Scott

Editors Note: Morning Tech is a free version of POLITICO Pro Technologys morning newsletter, which is delivered to our subscribers each morning at 6 a.m. The POLITICO Pro platform combines the news you need with tools you can use to take action on the days biggest stories. Act on the news with POLITICO Pro.

4:33 p.m.: NASAs launch today of Elon Musks SpaceX rocket could catapult the astronauts, the Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, and the country to fame if it works, that is.

Shareholder talks, commence: Tech employees, civil rights activists and antitrust advocates are using Amazons and Facebooks annual shareholder meetings today to pressure the giants on issues ranging from the environmental impact of their businesses to their acquisitions of rival companies.

Schumers (rare) new tech bill: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation today to give the National Science Foundation an infusion of government cash and provide more money for research into AI, 5G and quantum computing.

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State of Small Business Report: Insights from 86,000 businesses and employees. A new report from Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable looks at how small and medium-sized businesses are dealing with the impact of COVID-19 and what they need on the road to recovery. Go further: Read the full report.

GREETINGS, TECHLINGS: ITS WEDNESDAY. WELCOME TO MORNING TECH! Im your host, Alexandra Levine.

Calling all China watchers: The trajectory of the U.S.-China relationship will determine whether this century is judged a bright or a dismal one. POLITICO's David Wertime is launching a new China newsletter this week that will be worth the read. Sign up here.

Meanwhile, whats happening in Washingtons tech circles? Drop me a line at [emailprotected] or @Ali_Lev. An event for our calendar? Send details to [emailprotected]. Anything else? Full team info below. And don't forget: Add @MorningTech and @PoliticoPro on Twitter.

ON WEDNESDAYS, WE LAUNCH ROCKETS The weeks main event is NASA's launch this afternoon of a 230-foot rocket, outfitted by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, from Cape Canaveral a historic event that both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are expected to attend. If successful, Musk's SpaceX will go down in history as the first private company to carry humans into orbit. Tune in at 4:33 p.m.

NASAs fortunes are tied to Musks, who has made headlines recently for antics like vowing to sell all his houses, denouncing coronavirus lockdowns as fascist and reopening Teslas electric-car factory in defiance of California health authorities, POLITICOs Jacqueline Feldscher reports. SpaceXs role is a major departure from the traditional way NASA has sent its astronauts into space during the decades when it funded, owned and operated its own rockets and shuttles. And it comes as other private businesses aim to take humans to the final frontier, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos rocket company, Blue Origin, and Richard Bransons Virgin Galactic.

EYEBALLS WATCHING EMOJI: SILICON VALLEYS SHAREHOLDER MEETINGS Facebooks and Amazons annual shareholder meetings today are already being met with pushback.

For Facebook, as MT scooped Tuesday, that has taken the form of demands the company be broken up and stop profiting off the pandemic. Change the Terms coalition, a group of civil and digital rights activists that presses tech companies to crack down on hateful activity online, is meanwhile asking the company to ban white supremacists.

For Amazon, the pushback has taken the form of grass-roots groups like Amazon Employees for Climate Justice calling on the board to respond to their environmental concerns, including over warehouse and delivery fleet emissions that workers say are disproportionately hurting communities of color.

Amazons logistics network of trucks spew climate-change-causing greenhouse gases and toxic particles as they drive to and from warehouses that are concentrated near Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, the climate group wrote in a blog post mapping out the racial makeup of neighborhoods occupied by Amazon facilities. They claim the giants infrastructure overwhelmingly pollutes immigrant areas and communities of color particularly around San Bernardino, Calif., home to some two dozen warehouses and demand that Amazon enter a so-called Community Benefits Agreement that would require the company to provide permanent, living wage jobs and health benefits for local residents and zero emissions electric delivery trucks to promote clean air, among other asks.

The demands come as Amazon has seen a wave of fresh scrutiny in Washington during the pandemic and after the coronavirus spread to at least 50 warehouses and took the lives of at least eight Amazon warehouse workers.

OMG: If you were wondering how Amazon planned to respond to the discontent ahead of todays meeting, this might really make your jaw drop.

SAY HELLO TO A RARE SCHUMER TECH BILL A bipartisan, bicameral bill led by Schumer is expected to be introduced today. The Endless Frontiers Act, an uncommon piece of tech legislation from the New York Democrat, proposes a major, renewed federal investment in tech and science research through public-private partnerships and funding by the U.S. government investments intended to help in the race ahead with Covid-19 research in the short term, and to help brace for future threats of this magnitude in the long term.

The numbers: The bill would put $100 billion over five years toward the National Science Foundation (which currently has an annual budget of just $8.1 billion) and toward research and innovation across AI, 5G, quantum computing and other areas. It would also notably give the Commerce Department the ability to allocate billions more in funding to 10 to 15 tech hubs around the country, amplifying similar calls to create regional tech hubs by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who is among the co-sponsors of the bill.

Schumer first announced the bill in a recent USA Today op-ed with co-sponsors Khanna, Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), highlighting the dangers of our decades-long underinvestment in the infrastructure that would help prevent, respond to and recover from an emergency of this scale namely, scientific and technological discovery. They also stress the need to keep up as China gains ground outpacing the United States by investing in technological innovations essential to Americans future safety and prosperity. The group is looking to package the proposal into the upcoming NDAA, according to a senior Senate aide familiar with the group's efforts.

THE NEXT 5G AIRWAVES FRONTIER? A mix of wireless industry trade groups and think tanks is nudging the FCC to issue an item ASAP to make the 12 GHz band airwaves more available for 5G use. The current technical rules for 12.2-12.7 GHz are obsolete and burdensome, preventing use of this spectrum for 5G wireless services, wrote the Competitive Carriers Association, Incompas, Open Technology Institute, Computer & Communications Industry Association and Public Knowledge.

One likely (and unmentioned) beneficiary: DISH Network, a satellite TV company affiliated with some of the signatories and currently on the hook for building out a 5G wireless network as part of the federal governments T-Mobile-Sprint merger approval. DISH holds much of this spectrum and, despite some industry pushback from players such as OneWeb, is adamant that the commission should act.

THE CASE AGAINST EUROPES DIGITAL SERVICES TAX The business-friendly Tax Foundation crunched the numbers to see whether digital taxes affecting major Silicon Valley companies operating in Europe are legal under international tax, trade and European law (mostly because current DSTs come from EU governments). The answer? Probably not.

In its analysis, the group looks at how current levies from the likes of France or Italy represent potential discrimination under existing trade law (like the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services), as well as under international tax rules if the digital taxes breach existing bilateral agreements between countries (say France and Ireland, where several of Silicon Valleys biggest companies, including Apple and Facebook, have a major presence outside the U.S.).

As for existing EU rules? Country's digital taxes may run afoul of the 27-country bloc's fundamental freedoms, though such a fight would likely wind its way to Europe's highest court and take years to conclude.

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Resources and tools to help you and your small business.

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Resources for businesses here.

Alison Watkins, a privacy litigator who has counseled clients on compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act and Europes GDPR, has joined Perkins Coie as a partner in the firms litigation and privacy and security practices in the Palo Alto office. ... Jack Westerlund, a director of sales at Microsoft, is now director of sales at Microsoft partner RapidDeploy, an Austin-based software company working to reduce response time for first responders.

(More) gig grumblings: Uber and Lyft drivers in New York, where two rulings have deemed gig workers as employees eligible for the states unemployment insurance, are now suing over allegations that they have not been paid unemployment benefits in a timely manner, NYT reports.

Turning the other cheek: As Facebook did some soul-searching to study how the platform shapes user behavior, executives were warned that our algorithms exploit the human brains attraction to divisiveness, WSJ reports but ultimately, Mr. Zuckerberg and other senior executives largely shelved the basic research ... and weakened or blocked efforts to apply its conclusions to Facebook products.

Land of layoffs: Many leading Silicon Valley firms are feeling the layoff pains most outside the Bay Area, The Information reports.

Its good to be Google: In Sundar Pichais latest update on working from home, the Google CEO said that his employees, who will be largely working from home for the rest of this year, would receive a $1,000 allowance to go toward work equipment and office furniture.

ICYMI: "Twitter took a small stand against a pair of unsubstantiated President Donald Trump tweets about voting fraud on Tuesday by adding fact-check warnings," Cristiano reports, "but the move was unlikely to stem the onslaught of criticism the company is facing about tweets it hasn't acted on, including those peddling conspiracy theories about a deceased congressional staffer."

Podcast OTD: The latest episode of FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcels Broadband Conversations podcast features Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech:NYC. Listen through Google Podcasts, GooglePlay, iTunes or the FCC.

Opinion: Samuels spells out in the Daily News how tech jobs and investment will be a key component of New Yorks post-pandemic economic recovery across all five boroughs.

Tips, comments, suggestions? Send them along via email to our team: Bob King ([emailprotected], @bkingdc), Heidi Vogt ([emailprotected]co.com, @HeidiVogt), Nancy Scola ([emailprotected], @nancyscola), Steven Overly ([emailprotected], @stevenoverly), John Hendel ([emailprotected], @JohnHendel), Cristiano Lima ([emailprotected], @viaCristiano), Alexandra S. Levine ([emailprotected], @Ali_Lev), and Leah Nylen ([emailprotected], @leah_nylen).

TTYL and go wash your hands.

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How Quantum Computers Work | HowStuffWorks

§ May 27th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on How Quantum Computers Work | HowStuffWorks

The massive amount of processing power generated by computer manufacturers has not yet been able to quench our thirst for speed and computing capacity. In 1947, American computer engineer Howard Aiken said that just six electronic digital computers would satisfy the computing needs of the United States. Others have made similar errant predictions about the amount of computing power that would support our growing technological needs. Of course, Aiken didn't count on the large amounts of data generated by scientific research, the proliferation of personal computers or the emergence of the Internet, which have only fueled our need for more, more and more computing power.

Will we ever have the amount of computing power we need or want? If, as Moore's Law states, the number of transistors on a microprocessor continues to double every 18 months, the year 2020 or 2030 will find the circuits on a microprocessor measured on an atomic scale. And the logical next step will be to create quantum computers, which will harness the power of atoms and molecules to perform memory and processing tasks. Quantum computers have the potential to perform certain calculations significantly faster than any silicon-based computer.

Scientists have already built basic quantum computers that can perform certain calculations; but a practical quantum computer is still years away. In this article, you'll learn what a quantum computer is and just what it'll be used for in the next era of computing.

You don't have to go back too far to find the origins of quantum computing. While computers have been around for the majority of the 20th century, quantum computing was first theorized less than 30 years ago, by a physicist at the Argonne National Laboratory. Paul Benioff is credited with first applying quantum theory to computers in 1981. Benioff theorized about creating a quantum Turing machine. Most digital computers, like the one you are using to read this article, are based on the Turing Theory. Learn what this is in the next section.

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Quantum computing – Wikipedia

§ May 27th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Quantum computing – Wikipedia

Study of a model of computation

Quantum computing is the use of quantum-mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computation. Computers that perform quantum computations are known as quantum computers.[1]:I-5 Quantum computers are believed to be able to solve certain computational problems, such as integer factorization (which underlies RSA encryption), substantially faster than classical computers. The study of quantum computing is a subfield of quantum information science.

Quantum computing began in the early 1980s, when physicist Paul Benioff proposed a quantum mechanical model of the Turing machine.[2]Richard FeynmanandYuri Maninlater suggested that a quantum computer had the potential to simulate things that a classical computer could not.[3][4] In 1994, Peter Shor developed a quantum algorithm for factoring integers that had the potential to decrypt RSA-encrypted communications.[5] Despite ongoing experimental progress since the late 1990s, most researchers believe that "fault-tolerant quantum computing [is] still a rather distant dream."[6] In recent years, investment into quantum computing research has increased in both the public and private sector.[7][8] On 23 October 2019, Google AI, in partnership with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), published a paper in which they claimed to have achieved quantum supremacy.[9] While some have disputed this claim, it is still a significant milestone in the history of quantum computing.[10]

There are several models of quantum computing, including the quantum circuit model, quantum Turing machine, adiabatic quantum computer, one-way quantum computer, and various quantum cellular automata. The most widely used model is the quantum circuit. Quantum circuits are based on the quantum bit, or "qubit", which is somewhat analogous to the bit in classical computation. Qubits can be in a 1 or 0 quantum state, or they can be in a superposition of the 1 and 0 states. However, when qubits are measured the result is always either a 0 or a 1; the probabilities of these two outcomes depend on the quantum state that the qubits were in immediately prior to the measurement. Computation is performed by manipulating qubits with quantum logic gates, which are somewhat analogous to classical logic gates.

There are currently two main approaches to physically implementing a quantum computer: analog and digital. Analog approaches are further divided into quantum simulation, quantum annealing, and adiabatic quantum computation. Digital quantum computers use quantum logic gates to do computation. Both approaches use quantum bits or qubits.[1]:213 There are currently a number of significant obstacles in the way of constructing useful quantum computers. In particular, it is difficult to maintain the quantum states of qubits as they are prone to quantum decoherence, and quantum computers require significant error correction as they are far more prone to errors than classical computers.[11][12]

Any computational problem that can be solved by a classical computer can also, in principle, be solved by a quantum computer. Conversely, quantum computers obey the ChurchTuring thesis; that is, any computational problem that can be solved by a quantum computer can also be solved by a classical computer. While this means that quantum computers provide no additional advantages over classical computers in terms of computability, they do in theory enable the design of algorithms for certain problems that have significantly lower time complexities than known classical algorithms. Notably, quantum computers are believed to be able to quickly solve certain problems that no classical computer could solve in any feasible amount of timea feat known as "quantum supremacy." The study of the computational complexity of problems with respect to quantum computers is known as quantum complexity theory.

The prevailing model of quantum computation describes the computation in terms of a network of quantum logic gates.[13]

A memory consisting of n {textstyle n} bits of information has 2 n {textstyle 2^{n}} possible states. A vector representing all memory states thus has 2 n {textstyle 2^{n}} entries (one for each state). This vector is viewed as a probability vector and represents the fact that the memory is to be found in a particular state.

In the classical view, one entry would have a value of 1 (i.e. a 100% probability of being in this state) and all other entries would be zero. In quantum mechanics, probability vectors are generalized to density operators. This is the technically rigorous mathematical foundation for quantum logic gates, but the intermediate quantum state vector formalism is usually introduced first because it is conceptually simpler. This article focuses on the quantum state vector formalism for simplicity.

We begin by considering a simple memory consisting of only one bit. This memory may be found in one of two states: the zero state or the one state. We may represent the state of this memory using Dirac notation so that

| 0 := ( 1 0 ) ; | 1 := ( 0 1 ) {displaystyle |0rangle :={begin{pmatrix}1\0end{pmatrix}};quad |1rangle :={begin{pmatrix}0\1end{pmatrix}}}

| := | 0 + | 1 = ( ) ; | | 2 + | | 2 = 1. {displaystyle |psi rangle :=alpha ,|0rangle +beta ,|1rangle ={begin{pmatrix}alpha \beta end{pmatrix}};quad |alpha |^{2}+|beta |^{2}=1.}

The state of this one-qubit quantum memory can be manipulated by applying quantum logic gates, analogous to how classical memory can be manipulated with classical logic gates. One important gate for both classical and quantum computation is the NOT gate, which can be represented by a matrix

X := ( 0 1 1 0 ) . {displaystyle X:={begin{pmatrix}0&1\1&0end{pmatrix}}.}

The mathematics of single qubit gates can be extended to operate on multiqubit quantum memories in two important ways. One way is simply to select a qubit and apply that gate to the target qubit whilst leaving the remainder of the memory unaffected. Another way is to apply the gate to its target only if another part of the memory is in a desired state. These two choices can be illustrated using another example. The possible states of a two-qubit quantum memory are

| 00 := ( 1 0 0 0 ) ; | 01 := ( 0 1 0 0 ) ; | 10 := ( 0 0 1 0 ) ; | 11 := ( 0 0 0 1 ) . {displaystyle |00rangle :={begin{pmatrix}1\0\0\0end{pmatrix}};quad |01rangle :={begin{pmatrix}0\1\0\0end{pmatrix}};quad |10rangle :={begin{pmatrix}0\0\1\0end{pmatrix}};quad |11rangle :={begin{pmatrix}0\0\0\1end{pmatrix}}.}

C N O T := ( 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 ) . {displaystyle CNOT:={begin{pmatrix}1&0&0&0\0&1&0&0\0&0&0&1\0&0&1&0end{pmatrix}}.}

In summary, a quantum computation can be described as a network of quantum logic gates and measurements. Any measurement can be deferred to the end of a quantum computation, though this deferment may come at a computational cost. Because of this possibility of deferring a measurement, most quantum circuits depict a network consisting only of quantum logic gates and no measurements. More information can be found in the following articles: universal quantum computer, Shor's algorithm, Grover's algorithm, DeutschJozsa algorithm, amplitude amplification, quantum Fourier transform, quantum gate, quantum adiabatic algorithm and quantum error correction.

Any quantum computation can be represented as a network of quantum logic gates from a fairly small family of gates. A choice of gate family that enables this construction is known as a universal gate set. One common such set includes all single-qubit gates as well as the CNOT gate from above. This means any quantum computation can be performed by executing a sequence of single-qubit gates together with CNOT gates. Though this gate set is infinite, it can be replaced with a finite gate set by appealing to the Solovay-Kitaev theorem.

Integer factorization, which underpins the security of public key cryptographic systems, is believed to be computationally infeasible with an ordinary computer for large integers if they are the product of few prime numbers (e.g., products of two 300-digit primes).[14] By comparison, a quantum computer could efficiently solve this problem using Shor's algorithm to find its factors. This ability would allow a quantum computer to break many of the cryptographic systems in use today, in the sense that there would be a polynomial time (in the number of digits of the integer) algorithm for solving the problem. In particular, most of the popular public key ciphers are based on the difficulty of factoring integers or the discrete logarithm problem, both of which can be solved by Shor's algorithm. In particular, the RSA, DiffieHellman, and elliptic curve DiffieHellman algorithms could be broken. These are used to protect secure Web pages, encrypted email, and many other types of data. Breaking these would have significant ramifications for electronic privacy and security.

However, other cryptographic algorithms do not appear to be broken by those algorithms.[15][16] Some public-key algorithms are based on problems other than the integer factorization and discrete logarithm problems to which Shor's algorithm applies, like the McEliece cryptosystem based on a problem in coding theory.[15][17]Lattice-based cryptosystems are also not known to be broken by quantum computers, and finding a polynomial time algorithm for solving the dihedral hidden subgroup problem, which would break many lattice based cryptosystems, is a well-studied open problem.[18] It has been proven that applying Grover's algorithm to break a symmetric (secret key) algorithm by brute force requires time equal to roughly 2n/2 invocations of the underlying cryptographic algorithm, compared with roughly 2n in the classical case,[19] meaning that symmetric key lengths are effectively halved: AES-256 would have the same security against an attack using Grover's algorithm that AES-128 has against classical brute-force search (see Key size).

Quantum cryptography could potentially fulfill some of the functions of public key cryptography. Quantum-based cryptographic systems could, therefore, be more secure than traditional systems against quantum hacking.[20]

Besides factorization and discrete logarithms, quantum algorithms offering a more than polynomial speedup over the best known classical algorithm have been found for several problems,[21] including the simulation of quantum physical processes from chemistry and solid state physics, the approximation of Jones polynomials, and solving Pell's equation. No mathematical proof has been found that shows that an equally fast classical algorithm cannot be discovered, although this is considered unlikely.[22] However, quantum computers offer polynomial speedup for some problems. The most well-known example of this is quantum database search, which can be solved by Grover's algorithm using quadratically fewer queries to the database than that are required by classical algorithms. In this case, the advantage is not only provable but also optimal, it has been shown that Grover's algorithm gives the maximal possible probability of finding the desired element for any number of oracle lookups. Several other examples of provable quantum speedups for query problems have subsequently been discovered, such as for finding collisions in two-to-one functions and evaluating NAND trees.[citation needed]

Problems that can be addressed with Grover's algorithm have the following properties:[citation needed]

For problems with all these properties, the running time of Grover's algorithm on a quantum computer will scale as the square root of the number of inputs (or elements in the database), as opposed to the linear scaling of classical algorithms. A general class of problems to which Grover's algorithm can be applied[23] is Boolean satisfiability problem. In this instance, the database through which the algorithm is iterating is that of all possible answers. An example (and possible) application of this is a password cracker that attempts to guess the password or secret key for an encrypted file or system. Symmetric ciphers such as Triple DES and AES are particularly vulnerable to this kind of attack.[citation needed] This application of quantum computing is a major interest of government agencies.[24]

Since chemistry and nanotechnology rely on understanding quantum systems, and such systems are impossible to simulate in an efficient manner classically, many believe quantum simulation will be one of the most important applications of quantum computing.[25] Quantum simulation could also be used to simulate the behavior of atoms and particles at unusual conditions such as the reactions inside a collider.[26]

Quantum annealing or Adiabatic quantum computation relies on the adiabatic theorem to undertake calculations. A system is placed in the ground state for a simple Hamiltonian, which is slowly evolved to a more complicated Hamiltonian whose ground state represents the solution to the problem in question. The adiabatic theorem states that if the evolution is slow enough the system will stay in its ground state at all times through the process.

The Quantum algorithm for linear systems of equations, or "HHL Algorithm", named after its discoverers Harrow, Hassidim, and Lloyd, is expected to provide speedup over classical counterparts.[27]

John Preskill has introduced the term quantum supremacy to refer to the hypothetical speedup advantage that a quantum computer would have over a classical computer in a certain field.[28]Google announced in 2017 that it expected to achieve quantum supremacy by the end of the year though that did not happen. IBM said in 2018 that the best classical computers will be beaten on some practical task within about five years and views the quantum supremacy test only as a potential future benchmark.[29] Although skeptics like Gil Kalai doubt that quantum supremacy will ever be achieved,[30][31] in October 2019, a Sycamore processor created in conjunction with Google AI Quantum was reported to have achieved quantum supremacy,[32] with calculations more than 3,000,000 times as fast as those of Summit, generally considered the world's fastest computer.[33]Bill Unruh doubted the practicality of quantum computers in a paper published back in 1994.[34]Paul Davies argued that a 400-qubit computer would even come into conflict with the cosmological information bound implied by the holographic principle.[35]

There are a number of technical challenges in building a large-scale quantum computer.[36] Physicist David DiVincenzo has listed the following requirements for a practical quantum computer:[37]

Sourcing parts for quantum computers is also very difficult. Many quantum computers, like those constructed by Google and IBM, need Helium-3, a nuclear research byproduct, and special superconducting cables that are only made by the Japanese company Coax Co..[38]

One of the greatest challenges involved with constructing quantum computers is controlling or removing quantum decoherence. This usually means isolating the system from its environment as interactions with the external world cause the system to decohere. However, other sources of decoherence also exist. Examples include the quantum gates, and the lattice vibrations and background thermonuclear spin of the physical system used to implement the qubits. Decoherence is irreversible, as it is effectively non-unitary, and is usually something that should be highly controlled, if not avoided. Decoherence times for candidate systems in particular, the transverse relaxation time T2 (for NMR and MRI technology, also called the dephasing time), typically range between nanoseconds and seconds at low temperature.[39] Currently, some quantum computers require their qubits to be cooled to 20 millikelvins in order to prevent significant decoherence.[40]

As a result, time-consuming tasks may render some quantum algorithms inoperable, as maintaining the state of qubits for a long enough duration will eventually corrupt the superpositions.[41]

These issues are more difficult for optical approaches as the timescales are orders of magnitude shorter and an often-cited approach to overcoming them is optical pulse shaping. Error rates are typically proportional to the ratio of operating time to decoherence time, hence any operation must be completed much more quickly than the decoherence time.

As described in the Quantum threshold theorem, if the error rate is small enough, it is thought to be possible to use quantum error correction to suppress errors and decoherence. This allows the total calculation time to be longer than the decoherence time if the error correction scheme can correct errors faster than decoherence introduces them. An often cited figure for the required error rate in each gate for fault-tolerant computation is 103, assuming the noise is depolarizing.

Meeting this scalability condition is possible for a wide range of systems. However, the use of error correction brings with it the cost of a greatly increased number of required qubits. The number required to factor integers using Shor's algorithm is still polynomial, and thought to be between L and L2, where L is the number of qubits in the number to be factored; error correction algorithms would inflate this figure by an additional factor of L. For a 1000-bit number, this implies a need for about 104 bits without error correction.[42] With error correction, the figure would rise to about 107 bits. Computation time is about L2 or about 107 steps and at 1MHz, about 10 seconds.

A very different approach to the stability-decoherence problem is to create a topological quantum computer with anyons, quasi-particles used as threads and relying on braid theory to form stable logic gates.[43][44]

Physicist Mikhail Dyakonov has expressed skepticism of quantum computing as follows:

There are a number of quantum computing models, distinguished by the basic elements in which the computation is decomposed. The four main models of practical importance are:

The quantum Turing machine is theoretically important but the physical implementation of this model is not feasible. All four models of computation have been shown to be equivalent; each can simulate the other with no more than polynomial overhead.

For physically implementing a quantum computer, many different candidates are being pursued, among them (distinguished by the physical system used to realize the qubits):

A large number of candidates demonstrates that quantum computing, despite rapid progress, is still in its infancy.[citation needed]

Any computational problem solvable by a classical computer is also solvable by a quantum computer.[67] Intuitively, this is because it is believed that all physical phenomena, including the operation of classical computers, can be described using quantum mechanics, which underlies the operation of quantum computers.

Conversely, any problem solvable by a quantum computer is also solvable by a classical computer, or more formally any quantum computer can be simulated by a Turing machine. In other words, quantum computers provide no additional power over classical computers in terms of computability. This means that quantum computers cannot solve undecidable problems like the halting problem and the existence of quantum computers does not disprove the ChurchTuring thesis.[68]

As of yet, quantum computers do not satisfy the strong Church thesis. While hypothetical machines have been realized, a universal quantum computer has yet to been physically constructed. The strong version of Church's thesis requires a physical computer, and therefore there is no quantum computer that yet satisfies the strong Church thesis.

While quantum computers cannot solve any problems that classical computers cannot already solve, it is suspected that they can solve many problems faster than classical computers. For instance, it is known that quantum computers can efficiently factor integers, while this is not believed to be the case for classical computers. However, the capacity of quantum computers to accelerate classical algorithms has rigid upper bounds, and the overwhelming majority of classical calculations cannot be accelerated by the use of quantum computers.[69]

The class of problems that can be efficiently solved by a quantum computer with bounded error is called BQP, for "bounded error, quantum, polynomial time". More formally, BQP is the class of problems that can be solved by a polynomial-time quantum Turing machine with error probability of at most 1/3. As a class of probabilistic problems, BQP is the quantum counterpart to BPP ("bounded error, probabilistic, polynomial time"), the class of problems that can be solved by polynomial-time probabilistic Turing machines with bounded error.[70] It is known that BPP {displaystyle subseteq } BQP and is widely suspected that BQP {displaystyle nsubseteq } BPP, which intuitively would mean that quantum computers are more powerful than classical computers in terms of time complexity.[71]

The exact relationship of BQP to P, NP, and PSPACE is not known. However, it is known that P {displaystyle subseteq } BQP {displaystyle subseteq } PSPACE; that is, all problems that can be efficiently solved by a deterministic classical computer can also be efficiently solved by a quantum computer, and all problems that can be efficiently solved by a quantum computer can also be solved by a deterministic classical computer with polynomial space resources. It is further suspected that BQP is a strict superset of P, meaning there are problems that are efficiently solvable by quantum computers that are not efficiently solvable by deterministic classical computers. For instance, integer factorization and the discrete logarithm problem are known to be in BQP and are suspected to be outside of P. On the relationship of BQP to NP, little is known beyond the fact that some NP problems that are believed not to be in P are also in BQP (integer factorization and the discrete logarithm problem are both in NP, for example). It is suspected that NP {displaystyle nsubseteq } BQP; that is, it is believed that there are efficiently checkable problems that are not efficiently solvable by a quantum computer. As a direct consequence of this belief, it is also suspected that BQP is disjoint from the class of NP-complete problems (if an NP-complete problem were in BQP, then it would follow from NP-hardness that all problems in NP are in BQP).[73]

The relationship of BQP to the basic classical complexity classes can be summarized as follows:

It is also known that BQP is contained in the complexity class #P (or more precisely in the associated class of decision problems P#P),[73] which is a subclass of PSPACE.

It has been speculated that further advances in physics could lead to even faster computers. For instance, it has been shown that a non-local hidden variable quantum computer based on Bohmian Mechanics could implement a search of an N {displaystyle N} -item database in at most O ( N 3 ) {displaystyle O({sqrt[{3}]{N}})} steps, a slight speedup over Grover's algorithm, which runs in O ( N ) {displaystyle O({sqrt {N}})} steps. Note, however, that neither search method would allow quantum computers to solve NP-complete problems in polynomial time.[74] Theories of quantum gravity, such as M-theory and loop quantum gravity, may allow even faster computers to be built. However, defining computation in these theories is an open problem due to the problem of time; that is, within these physical theories there is currently no obvious way to describe what it means for an observer to submit input to a computer at one point in time and then receive output at a later point in time.[75][76]

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How Do Quantum Computers Work? – ScienceAlert

§ May 27th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on How Do Quantum Computers Work? – ScienceAlert

Quantum computers perform calculations based on the probability of an object's state before it is measured - instead of just 1s or 0s - which means they have the potential to process exponentially more data compared to classical computers.

Classical computers carry out logical operations using the definite position of a physical state. These are usually binary, meaning its operations are based on one of two positions. A single state - such as on or off, up or down, 1 or 0 - is called a bit.

In quantum computing, operations instead use the quantum state of an object to produce what's known as a qubit. These states are the undefined properties of an object before they've been detected, such as the spin of an electron or the polarisation of a photon.

Rather than having a clear position, unmeasured quantum states occur in a mixed 'superposition', not unlike a coin spinning through the air before it lands in your hand.

These superpositions can be entangled with those of other objects, meaning their final outcomes will be mathematically related even if we don't know yet what they are.

The complex mathematics behind these unsettled states of entangled 'spinning coins' can be plugged into special algorithms to make short work of problems that would take a classical computer a long time to work out... if they could ever calculate them at all.

Such algorithms would be useful in solving complex mathematical problems, producing hard-to-break security codes, or predicting multiple particle interactions in chemical reactions.

Building a functional quantum computer requires holding an object in a superposition state long enough to carry out various processes on them.

Unfortunately, once a superposition meets with materials that are part of a measured system, it loses its in-between state in what's known as decoherence and becomes a boring old classical bit.

Devices need to be able to shield quantum states from decoherence, while still making them easy to read.

Different processes are tackling this challenge from different angles, whether it's to use more robust quantum processes or to find better ways to check for errors.

For the time being, classical technology can manage any task thrown at a quantum computer. Quantum supremacy describes the ability of a quantum computer to outperform their classical counterparts.

Some companies, such as IBM and Google, claim we might be close, as they continue to cram more qubits together and build more accurate devices.

Not everybody is convinced that quantum computers are worth the effort. Some mathematicians believe there are obstacles that are practically impossible to overcome, putting quantum computing forever out of reach.

Time will tell who is right.

All topic-based articles are determined by fact checkers to be correct and relevant at the time of publishing. Text and images may be altered, removed, or added to as an editorial decision to keep information current.

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Explainer: What is a quantum computer? | MIT Technology Review

§ May 27th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Explainer: What is a quantum computer? | MIT Technology Review

This is the first in a series of explainers on quantum technology. The other two are on quantum communication and post-quantum cryptography.

A quantum computer harnesses some of the almost-mystical phenomena of quantum mechanics to deliver huge leaps forward in processing power. Quantum machines promise to outstrip even the most capable of todaysand tomorrowssupercomputers.

They wont wipe out conventional computers, though. Using a classical machine will still be the easiest and most economical solution for tackling most problems. But quantum computers promise to power exciting advances in various fields, from materials science to pharmaceuticals research. Companies are already experimenting with them to develop things like lighter and more powerful batteries for electric cars, and to help create novel drugs.

The secret to a quantum computers power lies in its ability to generate and manipulate quantum bits, or qubits.

Today's computers use bitsa stream of electrical or optical pulses representing1s or0s. Everything from your tweets and e-mails to your iTunes songs and YouTube videos are essentially long strings of these binary digits.

Quantum computers, on the other hand, usequbits, whichare typically subatomic particles such as electrons or photons. Generating and managing qubits is a scientific and engineering challenge. Some companies, such as IBM, Google, and Rigetti Computing, use superconducting circuits cooled to temperatures colder than deep space. Others, like IonQ, trap individual atoms in electromagnetic fields on a silicon chip in ultra-high-vacuum chambers. In both cases, the goal is to isolate the qubits in a controlled quantum state.

Qubits have some quirky quantum properties that mean a connected group of them can provide way more processing power than the same number of binary bits. One of those properties is known as superposition and another is called entanglement.

Qubits can represent numerous possible combinations of 1and 0 at the same time. This ability to simultaneously be in multiple states is called superposition. To put qubits into superposition, researchers manipulate them using precision lasers or microwave beams.

Thanks to this counterintuitive phenomenon, a quantum computer with several qubits in superposition can crunch through a vast number of potential outcomes simultaneously. The final result of a calculation emerges only once the qubits are measured, which immediately causes their quantum state to collapse to either 1or 0.

Researchers can generate pairs of qubits that are entangled, which means the two members of a pair exist in a single quantum state. Changing the state of one of the qubits will instantaneously change the state of the other one in a predictable way. This happens even if they are separated by very long distances.

Nobody really knows quite how or why entanglement works. It even baffled Einstein, who famously described it as spooky action at a distance. But its key to the power of quantum computers. In a conventional computer, doubling the number of bits doubles its processing power. But thanks to entanglement, adding extra qubits to a quantum machine produces an exponential increase in its number-crunching ability.

Quantum computers harness entangled qubits in a kind of quantum daisy chain to work their magic. The machines ability to speed up calculations using specially designed quantum algorithms is why theres so much buzz about their potential.

Thats the good news. The bad news is that quantum machines are way more error-prone than classical computers because of decoherence.

The interaction of qubits with their environment in ways that cause their quantum behavior to decay and ultimately disappear is called decoherence. Their quantum state is extremely fragile. The slightest vibration or change in temperaturedisturbances known as noise in quantum-speakcan cause them to tumble out of superposition before their job has been properly done. Thats why researchers do their best to protect qubits from the outside world in those supercooled fridges and vacuum chambers.

But despite their efforts, noise still causes lots of errors to creep into calculations. Smart quantum algorithmscan compensate for some of these, and adding more qubits also helps. However, it will likely take thousands of standard qubits to create a single, highly reliable one, known as a logical qubit. This will sap a lot of a quantum computers computational capacity.

And theres the rub: so far, researchers havent been able to generate more than 128 standard qubits (see our qubit counter here). So were still many years away from getting quantum computers that will be broadly useful.

That hasnt dented pioneers hopes of being the first to demonstrate quantum supremacy.

Its the point at which a quantum computer can complete a mathematical calculation that is demonstrably beyond the reach of even the most powerful supercomputer.

Its still unclear exactly how many qubits will be needed to achieve this because researchers keep finding new algorithms to boost the performance of classical machines, and supercomputing hardware keeps getting better. But researchers and companies are working hard to claim the title, running testsagainst some of the worlds most powerful supercomputers.

Theres plenty of debate in the research world about just how significant achieving this milestone will be. Rather than wait for supremacy to be declared, companies are already starting to experiment with quantum computers made by companies like IBM, Rigetti, and D-Wave, a Canadian firm. Chinese firms like Alibaba are also offering access to quantum machines. Some businesses are buying quantum computers, while others are using ones made available through cloud computing services.

One of the most promising applications of quantum computers is for simulating the behavior of matterdown to the molecular level. Auto manufacturers like Volkswagen and Daimler are using quantum computers to simulate the chemical composition of electrical-vehicle batteries to help find new ways to improve their performance. And pharmaceutical companies are leveraging them to analyze and compare compounds that could lead to the creation of new drugs.

The machines are also great for optimization problems because they can crunch through vast numbers of potential solutions extremely fast. Airbus, for instance, is using them to help calculate the most fuel-efficient ascent and descent paths for aircraft. And Volkswagen has unveiled a service that calculates the optimal routes for buses and taxis in cities in order to minimize congestion. Some researchers also think the machines could be used to accelerate artificial intelligence.

It could take quite a few years for quantum computers to achieve their full potential. Universities and businesses working on them are facing a shortage of skilled researchersin the fieldand a lack of suppliersof some key components. But if these exotic new computing machines live up to their promise, they could transform entire industries and turbocharge global innovation.

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Covid 19 Pandemic: Quantum Computing & Technologies Market Trend, Competitive Growth Overview and Forecast to 2025 – 3rd Watch News

§ May 27th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Covid 19 Pandemic: Quantum Computing & Technologies Market Trend, Competitive Growth Overview and Forecast to 2025 – 3rd Watch News

Quantum Computing & Technologies Market is Expected to Grow with a CAGR of 32.5 % over the Forecast Period.Increased demand for handling & analyzing the data for making business decisions more effective and rising incidences of cybercrime are some of the major factors driving the growth of the Global Quantum Computing & Technologies Market.

Quantum computing & technologies consists of subatomic particles such as electrons, photons that exist in more than one state at any time. Unlike traditional computers, the quantum computer comprises series of bits with additional quantum analog qubits. Qubits are physically distinguishable two states quantum mechanical systems like electron and photon in the two dimensions which are responsible for the entanglement and super positioning movement. With the help of qubit, it becomes easy to identify, interpret and analyze the data stored in the warehouse system.

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Quantum computers can be operated at freezing temperatures near absolute zero which is most suitable to execute its functioning. Quantum computation is the scientific method of finding the most perfect and accurate solutions for problems that cannot be solved by traditional computers. Quantum computational technique is capable of solving polynomials, factorization, and exponential problems with the help of machine learning, Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing and artificial intelligence which consist of recurrent neural networks to optimize and extricate the dynamic data.

Quantum computing & technologies market report is segmented on the basis of type of technology, applications, component, end-user industry and by region & country level. Based upon technology, market is segmented into Blockchain, Adiabatic, Measurement-Based, superconducting and topological. Based upon applications, market is segmented into Cryptography, IoT/Big data/Artificial intelligence, teleportation, Simulation & data optimization and others. Based upon component, the market is classified as hardware, software & systems and services. Based upon end-user industry, the quantum computing & technology market is segmented into aerospace and defense, healthcare, manufacturing, it & telecommunications, energy and others.

The regions covered in this Global Quantum Computing & Technologies market report are North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World. On the basis of country level, market of Global Quantum Computing & Technologies market is sub divided into U.S., Mexico, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, India, South East Asia, GCC, Africa, etc.

Key Players for Global Quantum Computing & Technologies Market Report

Some major key players for Quantum Computing & Technologies market are IBM Google, Microsoft, Alibaba, D-Wave Systems Inc., Nokia, Intel, Airbus, HP, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, SK Telecom, NEC, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Rigetti, Biogen, Volkswagen, Amgen, ID Quantique and others.

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A Preview of Bristlecone, Googles New Quantum Processor.

March 5th, 2018; Google has invented the new technique which will solve real-world problems with the help of an artificial intelligence superconducting system and by qubit technology to provide a test bed for research into system error rates. It introduced a device named Bristlecone which would then be a compelling proof-of-principle for building larger-scale quantum computers. To operate this device with minimum error they have used full-stack technology software and electronic control system for processing and solving the complex problems.

Increased Demand for Handling & Analyzing the Data for Making Business Decisions More Effective and Rising Incidences of Cybercrime are Some of the Major Factors Driving the Growth of the Global Quantum Computing & Technologies Market.

Growth of quantum computing & technologies is primarily driven by big data handling, problem-solving technique to optimize the data which are used in various industries including automotive healthcare energy & power. According to a research, everyday internet generates 2.5 billion gigabytes of YouTube shorts, viral news stories, click-bait articles, and blogs. Worldwide 3.58 billion internet users gather together to send 500 million tweets, publish 2 million articles, and send 281.1 billion emails every day. So, there is huge data and Quantum computing technology allows the user to simulate, detect, analyze, and diagnose the scattered data into well-structured data sets. According to the survey of IT, leaders from the top 400 organization quantum computing technology finds 71% view the emergence of quantum computers as a threat to cyber security. One of the biggest restraints of this technology is its high cost and it requires absolute zero temperature to operate so its difficult to maintain that temperature at low cost. Another big challenge faced by this technology is the lack of knowledge and awareness about encryption algorithms and codes used while performing some tasks in quantum computers.

In spite of that, incresaing technological advancements with high-performance quantum computing technology used in various industries such as aerospace & defense, BFSI, healthcare & life science, energy & utilities, and others fosters the growth of the market. Its excellent problem-solving power, growing spending and investment in the development and research by industry giants, has also increase the demand for quantum computing from medical research and financial sectors are expected to create great opportunity for the investors.

North America is Expected to Dominate the Global Quantum Computing & Technologies Market.

North America is emerged as a leading region in the global quantum computing & technologies market followed by Europe and Asia pacific. In the fiscal year, 2019 the U.S. government has provided $1.2 billion to fund the activities promoting quantum information science for an initial five-year period followed by U.S. the European Union has also launched a $1.1 billion investment in providing the top quantum computing strategic plan. One of the biggest competitors of the U.S. is China there is a race going on for using the most advanced technology of quantum computing. China is planning to build the worlds biggest quantum research facility for quantum computers and other revolutionary technology. The National Laboratory for Quantum Information Science of China will be located on a 37-hectare site next to a small lake in Hefei, Anhui province, China.

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AUAS and CWI sponsor applied quantum computing research group – Bits&Chips

§ May 25th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on AUAS and CWI sponsor applied quantum computing research group – Bits&Chips

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18:20

The Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) together with the Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI) are launching a joint endeavor the applied quantum computing professorship and research group. Under the direction of Marten Teitsma, the research group will be tasked with investigating the future feasibility of quantum research applications, as well as exploring the possibilities of developing Qusofts quantum algorithms and protocols into applications.

While the new applied quantum computing position is being established within the Quantum Delta Netherlands Foundation, which aims to accelerate quantum technology and innovation in the Netherlands, the post itself is only recognized as a special professorship. This is because the professorship is being established for only a certain period of time, as it relies on the availability of funding. In its founding, the program is cofunded by the Taskforce for Applied Research SIA.

With this special research group, Dutch higher professional education will be connected to a major global development, expresses professor by special appointment and program leader, Teitsma. The consequences of quantum technology are not yet foreseeable but will potentially affect our lives in many ways.

Bits&Chips strengthens the high tech ecosystem in the Netherlands and Belgium and makes it healthier by supplying independent knowledge and information.

Bits&Chips focuses on news and trends in embedded systems, electronics, mechatronics and semiconductors. Our coverage revolves around the influence of technology.

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Quantum Physicist Invents Code to Achieve the Impossible – Interesting Engineering

§ May 25th, 2020 § Filed under Quantum Computer Comments Off on Quantum Physicist Invents Code to Achieve the Impossible – Interesting Engineering

A physicist at the University of Sydney has achieved something that many researchers previously thought was impossible. He has developed a type of error-correcting code for quantum computers that will free up more hardware.

His solution also delivers an approach that will allow companies to build better quantum microchips. Dr. Benjamin Brown from the School of Physics achieved this impressive feat by applying a three-dimensional code to a two-dimensional framework.

"The trick is to use time as the third dimension. I'm using two physical dimensions and adding in time as the third dimension," Brown said in a statement. "This opens up possibilities we didn't have before."

"It's a bit like knitting," he added. "Each row is like a one-dimensional line. You knit row after row of wool and, over time, this produces a two-dimensional panel of material."

Quantum computing is rampant with errors. As such, one of the biggest obstacles scientists face before they can build machines large enough to solve problems is reducing these errors.

"Because quantum information is so fragile, it produces a lot of errors," said Brown.

Getting rid of these errors entirely is impossible. Instead, researchers are seeking to engineer a new error-tolerant system where useful processing operations outweigh error-correcting ones. This is exactly what Brown achieved.

"My approach to suppressing errors is to use a code that operates across the surface of the architecture in two dimensions. The effect of this is to free up a lot of the hardware from error correction and allow it to get on with the useful stuff," Brown explained.

The result is an approach that could change quantum computing forever.

"This result establishes a new option for performing fault-tolerant gates, which has the potential to greatly reduce overhead and bring practical quantum computing closer," saidDr. Naomi Nickerson, Director of Quantum Architecture at PsiQuantum in Palo Alto, California, who is not connected to the research.

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